Ever since the Extreme Couponing show aired last year and our stores were flooded with new couponers desiring to learn the ropes of this age old jewel of saving money, I’ve reaccessed how I’ve shopped. Yes, all the tips I gave last year for rethinking my strategy after Extreme Couponing are still in place. In fact, now more than ever.

With rising food prices, the many years I have kept our food budget of $500, for our family of seven, is slowly creeping, and that creeping surely isn’t going down. In fact, I’ve addressed the issue of monthly food costs before and even posed the question to you in my “What are Your Monthly Food Costs?” posts. Your comments were quite eye opening.

I have a hard time walking into the grocery store and purchasing food at these prices. It’s painful and so I’ve kicked up my meal planning to high gear. Now, don’t hear me say ” I am an ultimate meal planner.” In fact, I struggle to use the very meal planning printable worksheets that I produced. It’s rare that I have my meals written out. Yes, I am admitting that. I struggle in that area, but I have been very proactive about making sure I am making my meals from scratch and buying at rock bottom prices, especially meats and produce. I’ve been incorporating many of my “Ten Minute Dinner” suggestions and making my own “prepared convenience” foods.

I’m going to be going into more details about just what I am doing and my goal is to share my itemized monthly grocery bill because even though it’s a bit over $500 these days, I still feed my HUGE boys and sweet girls, with huge appetites, healthy meals for much lower than you might expect.

Many of these tips I will be sharing at my upcoming “Savings Nation” workshops, but one wonderful resource I thought I would point out today is Food on the Table. 

It allows you to browse recipes and pick categories based on your meal preferences and dietary needs, as well as make choices based around the grocery sales in your neighborhood. Now that is COOL and the best part is that they are offering it for FREE right now. I love trying new things that might make my life easier. 

Click Here to browse Food on the Table – the better way to plan meals and save money. SPECIAL OFFER: Use promo code: SPRINGFREE, throughout the month of April, and get the service for FREE for life!

Understanding meal plans and avoiding the last minute impulse buys are key to saving money and you don’t have to cut a coupon to do that, but I still do, cut coupons, that is, in large abundance.

I love Kellogg’s and I if you aren’t receiving their coupon packets by mail, sign up below to do so. I pair these great coupons with my store’s cereal deals (and better yet, if they are out, I get a rain check and stock up at my convenience.)

How are you doing on your meal planning lately?

With spring here, I am feeling re-invigorated and have five straight days under my belt of a full dinner on the table. That feels great!!