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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does a membership to Deals to Meals offer?

    Save up to 70% without using coupons. Every week we give you a comparison breakdown of the major grocery stores’ grocery deals to Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart. We tell you where the best deals are in your area; help you know where to shop and what to buy to save you the most money. You will also be given a weekly meal plan that is based around the sale items. All of our recipes are tried and true, made from scratch and delicious. You will also be given a grocery list to make shopping a breeze. Visit Deals to Meals to see how easy and fun it is to save money and time.

  2. How long has Deals to Meals been around?

    Deals to Meals first began as My Food Storage Deals back in April of 2008. In these past 8 years Deals to Meals has grown to be one of the most thorough and popular meal planning and grocery deal websites on the internet. We have loved helping customers all over the world save money and learn to cook healthy, homemade meals.

  3. Who started this blog and who is the author of each post?

    I am! My name is Shandra and I am the founder of Deals to Meals as well as this blog. My husband Todd runs Deals to Meals with me, and we are grateful you came to visit and learn with us. Most of the daily posts will be written and published by me. However, we do have several amazing contributors who will also be sharing their recipes and tips with you each week. Watch for our names on each post to know who is the author.

  4. How much money should my family be spending on groceries?

    This is my most commonly asked question. For my family, we average about $100 per person per month. If it is a month where I know I will be buying lots of case lot or food storage items, this might increase to $125 per person. This amount includes all toiletries, diapers, baby food, etc. for our family. You can always spend a little less, but this is a good average for families to keep in mind when coming up with a realistic budget.

  5. Where do you get your inspiration for your recipes?

    My mother was a wonderful cook and taught my sisters and me how to cook at a young age. I have hundreds of her recipes from our childhood, as well as other family favorites. I love to experiment with new flavors and recipes. I browse through magazines, watch the Food Network, read cookbooks, search the internet, but mostly I play around in the kitchen until I come up with recipes I love—and want to share with each of you. If I had my way, I would live in the kitchen all day.

  6. Who is the owner of Deals to Meals?

    Deals to Meals is a small, family owned business. My husband and I are the owners and employ several friends and family who we couldn’t be more grateful for! With three sisters, it is a blessing to have each of them work for us and allow us to spend lots of time together.

  7. What day do you normally grocery shop?

    I always shop on Wednesdays. This is the day most of the stores’ ads are uploaded onto our website and the meal planner is current.

  8. Do you enjoy what you do?

    Yes! Of course there are days (after 8 years of never having a week off of work) that I get tired of keeping up with our website and blog. However, I am grateful every day for this company that allows us to work from home, doing what we love. I love sharing my passion with others and helping families all over the country save money but also learn to enjoy healthy, homemade food with their families. Family, food and fun is the mantra we live by.

  9. Do you use coupons when you shop?

    Not very often. I am too busy to clip coupons and keep them organized. However, if there is an online or digital coupon offered from a grocery store we (at Deals to Meals) will make you aware of those. Most of our members however are looking for healthy, fresh ingredients/items that are normally not offered with a coupon. However, many members use coupons along with our weekly deals and seem to have it work well for them. You have to find what works best for you.

  10. Do I have to be a member to take advantage of the recipes and information on this blog?

    No! I started this blog over eight years ago to share my passion for cooking and meal planning with friends and family. Over the years we have grown to have readers all over the world, and share our recipes and information free of charge. However, for those in the U.S., we would love for you to try Deals to Meals to help you save on your groceries and take advantage of our weekly meal plans. We guarantee you will save more than the $4.95/month membership fee, or we will refund your money. There is nothing to lose, so sign up today and see how easy Deals to Meals is to use!

  11. Can we use pictures or information from your website for personal use?

    We are happy to share our information and pictures with you. However, please show gratitude by linking back to our site so your readers know where the content originated from. Email us at shandra@dealstomeals.com if you ever have any questions about our guidelines on this.

  12. Why is Deals to Meals a membership/subscription service and not free?

    Unlike most online grocery and meal planning services, we don’t get compensated from outside contributors or affiliates (with the exception of our Favorite Things Products). Most companies get paid for sharing coupons, selling newspaper subscriptions and other affiliate programs, ads, etc. We want to keep our website clean, clutter and ad free, and make using our service as clear and easy as possible. We don’t want to push products on you that you are not interested in buying. One hundred percent of the information you find on our website (and blog) is typed, organized, ranked, created and produced by our small group of employees. We don’t outsource these jobs to large corporations because we want to ensure few mistakes and to keep our content pertinent to your needs. To do this painstaking process, it is imperative that we charge a small fee. In the eight years we’ve been offering our service, we’ve never had to refund someone for not saving over their membership fee. We know you will save a hundred times that in a year’s time and can’t wait to help you start saving today!

  13. How can I best make Deals to Meals work for my family?

    Let’s begin by figuring out how exactly YOU want to use our service. There are basically three types of customers that use Deals to Meals. Once you decide which aspect of our service will most benefit you, follow the link to that ‘customer type’ and it will bring you to a step-by-step tutorial of how to use our service.

    • Customer 1: You want to use our service for the best deals AND our weekly meal planner and don’t want to adjust any of the recipes and cook exactly what we suggest for the week. Although this is the most time consuming method to learn, it will save you the most time in the long run. This method will cost a little more each month because you will be eating several homemade, genuine meals. Sadly, the truth is you can feed your family on less if you are eating processed foods. (We all know a frozen pizza will be cheaper than making a homemade meal.) However, if you want delicious, homemade recipes for your family for a 10-14 day period, this is the method of using our service that will be best for you.
    • Customer 2: You want to use the weekly deals along with your own, personal meal planner. This means you take some of the suggested meals from our service and modify them to fit your family’s needs and likes for the week. This is probably the best option for most families. Not all families will want to eat every recipe that we suggest each week. All families have different likes, dislikes and budgets. Customizing your meal plan for the week and eliminating meals or recipes your family won’t eat will help save you the most money each month.
    • Customer 3: You are more interested in knowing what the best weekly deals are and are not wanting any help with your meal plan. Some people don’t have time to worry about a meal plan. They just want to know what is on sale and what items to buy at the grocery store. They like to cook their own, tried and true recipes and want to only worry about getting the most groceries for their money. This method is the simplest and will still save you $100’s each month. If you are just starting, you can always begin by merely using the grocery deals and then eventually expand into using the meal planner as well. 😉
  14. Does Deals to Meals offer diet-friendly meal plan options on your website?

    Our recipes and meal planners work great for most people. Since most of our recipes are made from scratch: from fresh, homemade ingredients, they seem to work for most dietary needs. We try to keep processed foods to a minimum and use boxed items only as needed. People all over the U.S. use our meal planner as a guide and then create their own meal planner for their specific dietary needs. Our recipes also offer a ‘Healthier Option’ under each recipe that lets you know how to tweak the recipe to make it even healthier.

  15. Is Deals to Meals mobile-friendly?

    Yes! Deals to Meals works great on any of your hand held devices. All of the features you love about our service will work great on your phone or tablets. Taking Deals to Meals on the go will help you always have access to the best deals and save you time and money.

  16. Will Deals to Meals ever have an app?

    So far, we have found our mobile-friendly site works fantastically for our members on the go. As we continue to grow we will definitely look into creating an app for our site.

  17. When do you upload a new meal planner to Deals to Meals?

    Most grocery store ads start Wednesday and run through the next Tuesday. Our new meal planners are posted Tuesday nights before midnight and will run through the next Tuesday night.

  18. How do you avoid wasting your food storage?

    Here are some tips I have found helpful to cut down on waste:

    • Only buy those items you use. Don’t get caught up on buying certain foods just because you are ‘supposed’ to for the perfect food storage plan (except for wheat, powdered milk and powdered eggs— I encourage everyone to have those whether they like it or not). 😉 Other than those items, just store what you eat and as much of it as you know you will use in a 2-3 year time frame. All of your long term storage items (wheat, flour, pasta, rice, powdered milk, salt, sugar, etc.) will last 10-30 years. All other canned items will last 2-3 years past the expiration and all oils should last at least 1-2 years past the expiration. Don’t be too concerned about items going ‘bad’. Most likely they won’t be bad, they will just lose some nutritional value. As long as an item still tastes good, smells good and isn’t growing anything scary and green, you will be fine! It is better to have something than nothing.
    • If you don’t use it, donate it!

    • Take inventory so you don’t buy more items than you need. Sometimes we think we need a bunch of something and then we find we already have plenty of that item. Knowing what you have and taking inventory often will help you stay organized and know what items you need, and don’t need.
    • Be organized. Know where and what you have. Keep a list of items you store in unusual places (under beds, closets, etc.) and using your food storage will be much easier.
    • Learn to cook from scratch.
    • Make it fun. Set goals and don’t give up. Work at your goals a little at a time, and after awhile you will be amazed at how far your preparedness efforts have come.
  19. Do you have any tips for price matching at Walmart?

    Here are a few price matching tips for you:

    • Go when the lines are not busy and go without children, if possible.
    • Call ahead and talk to the manager to get details of that store’s price matching policy before you shop.
    • Ask the cashier before you begin ringing up your items if they know how (or are okay with) price matching. Many employees are new and haven’t been trained properly, and it takes MUCH longer.
    • Tell the people behind you that you are price matching. That way you don’t have shoppers breathing down your neck getting frustrated that you are taking too long.
    • Bring the grocery store ads or our Deals to Meals print out and show them to the cashier.
    • Put all of the items that you are NOT price matching on the scanner first. After those are scanned, then add the price matched items on the scanner in groups of similar items.
    • Bring a stack of post-it notes, and when you put an item in your cart, quickly write the price and the store that you are price matching the item from. This way, as you are putting your groceries up on the scanner, they can begin scanning and not have to wait for you to find your list or the prices.
    • Be quick and efficient. The cashiers get frustrated when the customer is slow, taking too long, or acting like they don’t know what they are doing.
    • Be patient. Learning how to price match takes time, but once you get the hang of it you can save a lot of money and time.
    • For those who don’t have a Walmart near you that price matches, check out this link for tips to still save on your grocery bill.