With the change of Walmart no longer price matching, I get asked often, “How do I use Deals to Meals to still save money?”. The first week of this month I did my big shopping trip and thought I’d take you along my journey with me–to show you how easy and FUN it is to use DTM. 

You know me, I am open and honest with you. With Walmart’s change of policy, even I have had to change the way I grocery shop. For over a decade I was able to get all of the best deals at one store and that has been hard to adjust back to the way I used to shop. However, after doing it this way for about a year, I have found some simple ways to save money, have my meals planned, and do my grocery shopping without a lot of work or prep.

Let’s get started, shall we? Here are some steps and tips to help make DTM work for you:

Step 1: Before I shop I always login to Deals to Meals. There is no reason to plan my meal plan until I know what is on sale. It’s so silly I am kind of ‘old school’ and I own an online business. See my old fashioned pen and paper? My husband would think this is hysterical that I still write things down. Old habits die hard I guess 😉 I simply login to Deals to Meals, select the grocery stores I most shop at (for me, these are Smith’s, Sprouts, Maceys and Costco). I quickly glance over the red deals and write down (or…click on the ‘add to grocery list button’) and add this to my shopping list. I have a large food storage stocked, so each week there are mostly produce, meat, breads, dairy and a few canned goods I am purchasing.

Once I know what grocery stores have the best deals I want to buy, I take my grocery list and head out shopping.  If you are using Deals to Meals for your meal planner, you can print our grocery list and take that shopping to know which items you need for your next 7-10 day meal plan. Because I am cooking and experimenting all week with new recipes, I generally have to create my own, separate meal plan. However, there are many times the items I buy, because they are the ‘red deals’ will work with any of the meals from our planner if I choose to cook them. Every recipe is tried and true, so don’t be afraid to give them a try. They are my families favorites and I know you will love them too 😉 If not, send us your feedback or comment on our blog. We’d love to hear what you think. 

Once I start my shopping, I can easily go from one store to another. With my list in hand, I quickly run into each store, get only what I have on my list and head to the next. I was able to go to Smiths, Sprouts, Costco and Maceys all in one afternoon.

One tip is to only shop at warehouse stores (like Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.) ONCE a month. These stores are too hard to stick to a list. If I shop at these stores more than once a month, my food budget nearly doubles. They have too many ‘extra’ and fun items I’m too tempted to buy. Try and stick to your specific list as to what items your family uses at these stores–and are generally not on sale at regular grocery stores. Here is a list of many of my go-to Costco items I buy once a month. 

Read these past articles to help you save money at big-box stores: 

*6 Tips to Save You Money at Costco

*Best Costco Bargains and Favorite Items to Buy

Okay..back to our shopping trip. Yes, you will need to shop at a couple different stores to save the most money. However, I promise this is WELL worth your time! On my shopping trip this month, I shopped at 4 stores and saved $100’s of dollars. In fact, I would dare say I saved well over $300. This was definitely worth my time and energy it took to shop for a few hours one afternoon. Yes, it took me longer than it used to, but it is WELL worth my time and money. 

Once you’re done shopping, your meals are planned, and you are home–this is where it gets fun! There are few things I love more than having a well stocked pantry and a full fridge with lots of fresh produce and meat. When you have all the items you need on hand for your future meal plans, cooking can be SUPER fun! Try new recipes, learn to cook from scratch and spread your wings in the kitchen. Have fun experimenting, introducing new flavors to your children, and use these Meal Planning Tips to make your life easier. With a little help from Deals to Meals, shopping and meal planning can be fun again!One of my favorite parts of grocery shopping is stocking up and saving money when items are on sale for great prices. I love the feeling of knowing I have my own ‘grocery store’ in my storage room and pantry. Having a well stocked pantry will save you $100’s every month by buying items when they are at their lowest prices–and stocking up! For example, this time of year many of your fall favorite items go on sale for their lowest prices. This month I bought my year supply (possibly 2 year supply?) of canned pumpkin. It was on sale for only $0.99 for a large can, so I stocked up and bought 36 cans. I saved over $2 for every can I bought. On this one item, I saved $72 which was over a 50% savings. Do this for a few items each week and you will quickly have a well stocked pantry to help make cooking easy and FUN! 

Hopefully these tips will help you use Deals to Meals to save you TIME and MONEY! Sorry I am not ‘techy’ enough to put together a video. I know I need to, but that’s a little out of my comfort zone for now. We’ll see what the future holds 😉 In the mean time, email me with any questions you might have while using our service. We are here to help. Have fun shopping friends!