Cooking by the Circular

Checking your local supermarket’s circular for deals can save up to a few dollars per item, meaning a large percentage off the total price of a meal.  This is where meal planning becomes important!  Make a list of meals you love, and recipes you’re dying to try, and it’s almost certain that the ingredients you need to make them will go on sale in the near future.  It’s all about buying at the right time.

Here are 5 tips for using the circular to save money cooking the food you love:

  • Take note of items you have on hand week to week, and search for recipes that include them – pay attention to spices, condiments, staple items, etc.
  • Use circulars and other coupons as meal inspirations.  You can find these in the newspaper, in-store & online
  • Keep a running list of a variety of recipes you want to try, and save them for the right occasion (or for when the ingredients go on sale!)
  • Look out for sale items that can substitute into your staple meals, or mix things up by trying a new recipe completely on sale
  • Buy sale items that can be used for more than one meal during the week, or that can be stored or frozen for future use

To see for myself if shopping by the circular really works, I took a look at my local Stop & Shop’s deals, to come up with a delicious meal for four using only items on sale.  Because I’ve been craving seafood, I opted for salmon steaks.  (I know I already have tons of spices on hand to season, as well as olive oil and lemon juice).  Then I searched in the produce section of the circular for some tasty and healthy sides.  Red-skinned potatoes are on sale, as well as mixed salad greens and tomatoes, so I decided on homemade garlic mashed potatoes and a large bowl of mixed greens.  Both of these sides will be easy to make with staple items I already have at home – skim milk, a little butter, ground pepper and garlic for the mashed potatoes and balsamic for the mixed greens.

Here’s my shopping list:

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At $17.96, this meal will feed four people for $4.49 each.  Not bad for a seafood dinner!  Check back this evening for the complete recipe and step by step directions for how to prepare the meal.  I’ll also post my savings, and whether I was able to stick to my shopping plan!

-Ivy (Savvy Staff member)

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