Saving money on groceries

How Reverse Menu Planning Saves Money on Groceries

Last week when I shared about ways to save on groceries, my strong admonition was to buy what’s on sale. Today I want clarify and detail what that looks like.

The bread and avocados were grocery store mark downs and made for a delicious breakfast this week!

Of course you want to look at the store’s sites/ads and see what items they have marked down this week. This enables you to purchase items when they are marked at a lower price. You can establish a menu around those items, BUT WAIT!

When you’re at the store, go deep diving into each section of the store looking for their Marked Down items. This would be their
Clearance aisle, the corner of the meat section for meat that’s ready to expire, and also items on shelves that have sale stickers on them.
Kroger and Ingles are two places where I often see these kind of sales.

For example – A couple weeks ago I walked into Kroger’s produce section and found these bags in a large cooler…

The date was for a few days out! They also had the salad bowls for 25 cents! I purchased what I knew we could enjoy before they went bad. Obviously, I hadn’t known to add this to my list, but it was nice to incorporate that into my menu planning when I got home!

Often I find bananas marked down, or yogurt, or beef. Then I go home and make up my menu using those items. If I needed a cake and I found the bananas marked down, I’d make this Banana Cake, rather than one that calls for all kinds of extra ingredients that I would have to purchase at full price.


This is called Reverse menu planning (thanks for the term, Money-Saving Mom!). I’ve been doing this all my homemaking life, I just didn’t know what it was called!

This kind of shopping and PLANNING is totally opposite of not having a plan and then running to the store to buy needed items for a recipe.

Reverse menu planning is buying what’s on sale and/or marked to clearance, then using what I have on hand to make up the week’s menu.

Here’s a sampling of what’s on my menu next week because I went shopping and got these items when they were marked down!

I always have frozen and canned vegetables on hand for side dishes, though I do purchase fresh fruits and veggies at regular price.

If you are in a place where you only order groceries on-line, you can still get the benefit of the advertised sales, and that will help your grocery budget. But if you’re able to go into the store, keep your eyes open for those good mark downs and don’t be afraid of them. They’re still good for purchasing and consuming!

Have you heard of Reverse Menu Planning? Maybe like me, you’ve been doing it, but didn’t know what to call it?! Tell me about a deal you scored recently!

2 thoughts on “How Reverse Menu Planning Saves Money on Groceries

  1. One thing I like to do is take inventory of what I already have and make a menu based off that. Then I just buy the few items I might need to complete each meal. Just another idea!

    Liked by 1 person

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