Have you been to the grocery store lately? Of course, you have. This is the one place where prices keep going up with no signs of coming down. Sure, there is the occasional sale where you can score a great deal, but for the most part, it costs a lot to keep a family fed. Cutting down on your food costs doesn’t mean cutting back on food. It just means being a better planner. If you could save a hundred dollars a week on food, then you could pay for the family vacation. Obviously, you want to get your coupon cutting fired up. Beyond that, here are some other tips for meal planning that can help you dramatically cut your food costs.

Tip # 1: Start With A Flyer

Every grocery store puts out a weekly flyer. Here’s where you’ll see the upcoming deals. It can also be the best place for meal planning inspiration. Even if you don’t get a flyer in the mail or newspaper, head to the store‚Äôs website. It will be uploaded there for sure!

Tip #2: Look For The Fresh

This isn’t so much about meal planning as it is about making healthier choices. It can also save you some bucks. Grocery stores love to stock fresh produce and meat because that’s what everybody loves to eat. They also have to move that product. Thus, you’ll find better bargains on the fresh stuff.

Tip #3: Do Some Recipe Research

The best time to plan your meals for the week is when you’re not at the grocery store. After you’ve circled a couple of promising items in the flyer, open up a recipe app and start looking for ways to whip up meals with what’s on sale. For instance, if there is a bargain on ground turkey, then maybe its turkey taco Tuesday followed by turkey burger Friday. See how that works?

Tip #4: Plan For The Week

Won’t it be nice to know what you’re having for dinner this coming Thursday? There doesn’t need to be any debate from the troops. With meal planning, you’ll know in advance, what you’re making, how long it will take and how much you paid for it. That planning should start on Sunday, and there is nothing wrong with having repeat nights. For instance, every Monday can be pasta night. It doesn’t have to be the same paste or sauce every week. Mix it up! Fridays can be homemade pizza night. Yes, if you make your own pie, then it will be cheaper than the take-out.

Tip #5: Stockpile

Although you should be focused on meal planning for the week, there is nothing wrong with stockpiling your pantry. If you can stockpile your freezer, then that’s good, too! Just make sure you use up that food before it expires. What’s your meal plan for this week?