www.frugalmillennia.com Weekly Meal Plan 10-30-17

Weekly Meal Plan 10/30/17

Hello, my fellow frugal millennials! It’s Thursday which means I spent about a half hour yesterday scouring the Sprouts Weekly Ad Deals and planning my weekly meal plan for the week. Here’s a breakdown of my methodology.

Looking at Weekly Ad Deals

Before I even started thinking about what I wanted to eat I looked at Sprouts Weekly Ad Deals. Here’s what I noticed:

  • Black grapes are a good deal. I will typically buy grapes if they are less than $1 per pound. They typically range from $1.99-$0.88 per pound. The fact that they are as low as $0.77 per pound is a great deal. I’m going to grab a bag of black grapes to snack on throughout the week.
  • Italian squash is a good deal. Italian squash typically cost about $1.50 per pound so the fact that they are on sale for $0.48 per pounds is another good deal. Because this is the best vegetable deal of the week, I’m going to focus one of my meals around Italian squash.
  • Artisan lettuce is another fantastic deal! This type of lettuce typically costs $2.99-$3.99 per pack. It’s on sale for $0.98 which is an AWESOME deal. I’m going to figure out how to incorporate this into my meal prep.
  • Mild cheddar cheese is a good deal. I try to pick up whatever cheese is on sale that week and use it in scrambled eggs and maybe lunch or dinner.
  • There really aren’t very great meat deals this week. Which means I’m going to have a pretty veggie week.

Creating a Meal Plan

After considering the deals, I know an easy meal would be tacos. I can use the lettuce cups as shells, the cheddar cheese that is on sale, and extra lean ground beef is on sale for $4.99 lb. Not the greatest ground beef deal, but it’s the only meat I’m going to eat this week so I’ll splurge.

I’m not too familiar with cooking with Italian squash so I had to head over to Budget Bytes to look at recipes. There’s a recipe for Zucchini Pizza Boats that looks simple enough so I’ll try that.

For breakfast, I’ll alternate between scrambled eggs, pancakes, and protein shakes. These are my typical go-to breakfasts. Plus, I already have all of the ingredients on hand that I need to use up.

You’ll notice that I have a few blank squares on my weekly meal plan. Those are the days I’m planning on eating out. I know that one Wednesday I’m going to grab lunch with a friend. Friday and Saturday I typically eat out. Sunday I’ll probably sleep in and eat a late brunch which means I won’t need to eat lunch.

www.frugalmillennia.com Weekly Meal Plan 10-30-17

Creating a Shopping List

After looking through my refrigerator, I have a fair amount of ingredients leftover from previous weeks. Here’s what I’ll need to buy this week:

  • 1 Red onion $0.69/lb
  • 1lb bulk mushrooms $2.99/lb
  • 6 Italian Squash $0.48/lb
  • 1 can tomato sauce $0.99
  • 1 can black olives (price unknown, probably $1.99)
  • 1 artisan lettuce $0.98
  • 1 lb ground beef $4.99/lb
  • 1 lb mild cheddar cheese $2.99/lb
  • 2.5 lb Grapes $0.77/lb
  • 1 bag baby carrots $0.98

Total estimated cost: These ingredients will cost around $21.50. I’ll also probably grab a bag of chips and maybe some chocolate because I am human after all! But I would expect my total cost to be less than $30 which is a great start to the month. I always like to start the month under budget. That means I can try out more exciting recipes as the month goes on. Or I can grab a few extra treats later in the month.

If you want to learn more about how I meal prep, check out my post on grocery shopping on a budget. 


What’s the Heck is a Raincheck?

How many times has this scenario happened to you? You’re all ready to go shopping, see a great deal on a store’s website or were mailed a great promotional offer. You get in your car, head to the store to purchase the item that is on a great sale, only to find it’s sold out. As a bargain hunter, that happens to me more often than you would expect. It’s annoying, it’s frustrating, and a pain in the hiney! The next time you walk into a store and an item on sale is completely sold out, ask for a raincheck.

What is a Raincheck?

A raincheck is a store’s version of an I Owe You (IOU). If an item is advertised at a discounted price and sold out, you don’t have to leave the store empty-handed. You can find a store employee or store manager and ask for a raincheck. The raincheck will allow you to purchase the item at the discounted price once the item comes back into stock.

How Do I Get a Raincheck?

This happened to me earlier this week. I was shopping at my local Sprouts Farmers Market and saw that almond milk was on sale for $1.99. A great deal! When I went back to the milk section to the store only to find they were completely sold out. Bummer! After asking an employee if they had any more in the back, I was disappointed to find they were completely sold out. As I was checking out I asked the cashier for a raincheck. Without hesitation, he wrote one up for me. The next time I’m at Sprouts I’ll be able to snag my discounted almond milk.

Do Stores Have to Give Me a Raincheck?

The short answer is, it depends. Some states require retailers to provide rainchecks for sold out items. Those states require stores to “make good” on advertised offers. Other states do not have the same consumer protection. A store can also say in the ad that there are limited quantities or that rainchecks are not allowed. During the holiday season, when items are severely discounted, stores will often not allow rainchecks. So if you’re trying to score a great deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you’ll want to shop early before supplies run out.

Raincheck Alternatives

Depending on a store’s policy you may be able to purchase a comparable item at the sale price. This happened to me a few months ago. For those of you that have Safeway grocery stores nearby, you’re probably aware of Safeway’s Monopoly promotion. Every spring Safeway allows customers to earn Monopoly tickets for purchasing groceries.

Many of the Monopoly tickets have coupons for free items. This spring I received coupons for free salt, donuts, french baguettes, grocery bags, facial tissue, etc. All of the coupons expire on the same day. I can say from personal experience that the day the coupons expire is pure chaos. I’ve never seen more people at Safeway on the day the Monopoly coupons expire. Needless to say, because many people receive the same coupons and they expire on the same day the store looks like it’s been ransacked. The shelves are completely empty of the coupon items.

Instead of asking for a raincheck, I simply asked if I could get redeem my coupons for items of similar quality. Instead of getting a french baguette (which was completely sold out) I grabbed a sourdough loaf. Instead of regular grocery bags, I snagged bathroom sized grocery bags. Instead of a donut, I got a bagel.

Getting a Raincheck Alternative

The easiest way to score a raincheck or raincheck alternative is to ask. Just ask. Ask a store employee or manager and oftentimes (if you’re nice) they’ll grant your wish. Don’t be a jerk, don’t be rude, and don’t act entitled. If you’re polite and apologetic, more times than not your raincheck or raincheck alternative will be given to you.

P.S. If you’re looking for other ways to save money online, check out my abandoned shopping cart trick.