Every Day

Reverse Meal Planning

This is the way I meal plan 100% of the time now. Off and on through the years, I have tried to just make a menu of things that we want to eat for the week. I have almost always found that it costs me much more money.

A reason for that is when I have to buy what I don’t have in the house at full price instead of purchasing it on sale it ups my grocery bill. By reverse meal planning, I can buy grocery items when they are on sale at loss leader prices. Then I decide in advance what we will eat from our pantries, refrigerator, and freezer that week. At the same time, I keep an eye on the sale ads to see if there is anything I can use at rock bottom loss leaders in my area. Some weeks there are and some weeks there are none.

We are not fortune enough to live in an area that marks down prices on items that will expire the next day or so. They are far and few in between. For example, when I went into Walmart yesterday to pick up the popcorn that I had a free coupon for, I took the time to look for reduced price food items. The few bakery items they had were two days out of expiration which I would not buy. There was no marked down produce. Most of their on sale produce had seen it’s better days. Then I looked at the meat. They had a few beef steaks and roasts marked down for quick sale. But I don’t consider a markdown of $ .37 to $ .57 enough to make me buy an expensive steak or roast that was going out of date. Lastly, I went to the clearance shelf to see what they had. There were only two items and none of them were food.

At Top’s the last time I was there, they had a couple of meat items marked down. But their markdowns were as lousy as Walmart’s. At Aldi’s yesterday, they had no markdowns.

When I am going to a doctor’s appointment, I try to stop at Niagara Produce when they have sale items I need. I always look for the reduced price meat while I am there. I have found it just 5 times in a year and it is never more than one or two items.

The lack of reduced price items is why I purchase items on rock bottom loss leader. I certainly do miss Fry’s in AZ. It was a Kroger store and the markdowns were plentiful. But I do what you can with the stores that I have.

So starting today, I will be eating from our pantries, refrigerator, and freezer exclusively. I know that most of that food was purchased on sale a while ago when prices were lower. Meanwhile I will keep an eye on the ads but will not buy anything unless it is a price that says to me you need to buy this in bulk. For me to do that. it would have to be a very great price.

Tonight we are eating leftovers that are lingering in the fridge. I hate food waste. I have some fresh asparagus that needs to be cooked. I will do that this afternoon and eat a bit each time with my eggs for breakfast in the coming days.

Tomorrow, I will be cooking a corned beef, cabbage, and potato dinner. That will be leftovers for 3-4 days including the corned beef sandwiches that Hubby loves. I have also thawed a meal of homemade chicken soup for brunch today and tomorrow.

I am hoping to put my menu up every day with pictures when I can.

I also want to correct Hubby’s figures on how much our utility bills have decreased year over year. I finally had time to look at it. From 4/16/22 through 3/16/23, our bills totaled $ 2236.34. From 4/16/23 through 3/16/24, our bills totaled $ 2002.51. So we have saved $ 233.83 over last years bills. I don’t know where Hubby got that figure he told me but I will forgive him and correct my prior post.

Do any of you reverse meal plan?

4 replies on “Reverse Meal Planning”

Hi Precious! I do reverse meal planning also. I am pretty much to the point like you that I mostly get loss leaders and fresh stuff. I like having a variety of choices so we can make what we feel like. And I am like you that I hate food waste and we eat a lot of leftovers. We like leftovers. I like cooking for a few days and then maybe not cook over the weekend.

I am making corned beef this weekend also. I know you get a few of them when they are on sale this time of the year. But I don’t, b/c Hubby is the main person who likes it. I use the Paula Deen stovetop recipe. I do like the veggies. He loves the corned beef sandwiches on rye after the St Pat’s holiday. I got him some baby Swiss to go with. He will be in hog heaven. LOL! This weekend he is going to help our son at his house on the electric again.

Hi Chris,

I so agree with cooking for a few days. After all the years we have been married, finding ways to cook easier like cooking for 2-3 days at once is how I roll.

I just dragged out my crockpot and I will be putting my corned beef in there tomorrow morning. Cabbage and potatoes will go in later. We both love corned beef but I did not have the freezer space to buy extras this year. Hubby will eat it on white if that is all we have. Rye flour has gotten so expensive that I don’t buy it anymore. We do have swiss slices. I hope he and your son enjoy that project together.

You enjoy your St. Patricks Day dinner.

I have reversed planned for many, many years. It has saved so much money in the past! I tend to buy a variety of proteins at the loss leader prices: chicken, hamburger/gr. turkey, pork chops, steaks etc. Fish is never a loss leader. But the meat loss leader prices are getting slimmer and slimmer as good deals nor do I find many meat markdowns. I also try to eat seasonal produce. Both of these really help in the food budget. I am also in the same cook once, eat twice club. We always eat leftovers till it is gone. I get so mad at myself if I have to throw away food. I try to keep remembering that eating at home is cheaper and sometimes tastier than eating out and I am blessed to know how to cook.

Hi smhuh,

That is terrific! I will buy haddock and steaks if they are at a good price for my area because we enjoy them. But most of the time it is ground beef and turkey or chicken. You are right that prices are going up and becoming prohibitive. Now is probably the best price we will see on beef and pork. Our government seems to be doing everything they can to get rid of them with all the regulations among other things. We do love produce so when that starts to be local here, I will add that to my list of things to buy. We have a lot of frozen and canned veggies plus quite a bit of fresh in the fridge for now. It sounds like you are doing a great job. Thanks for sharing.

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