Learn How to Make the Perfect Grocery List in 10 Minutes or Less

You know you need to meal plan. You know you need to save money but the whole part of getting the coupons, looking for the deals, and then heading to the store while keeping your list all under control; makes you want to curl up in a ball and pray you had enough money to hire someone.

Well, that someone is me. Except you aren't paying me. Lucky you, eh?! 🙂 Today you are going to learn how to cut back your grocery expenses when you make the Perfect Grocery List in 10 minutes or less.

When it comes to saving money on our groceries, we need to have a plan. We need to prepare.  Since this is a BJ's blog, I will cater this post to just shopping at BJ's but know that you can use this information at any store.

Before you even grab your pen and paper to write a grocery list, you need to tell yourself this and remember it- ALWAYS!

grocery budget calculator tips

4 Steps to Help You Create the Perfect Grocery List 


Only buy something that has a BJ's coupon.

Think of the member savings booklets that come in the mail and the ones we get in the club every two weeks as sale prices at BJ's.

Costco doesn't have coupon books now. It's just a sale price. Maybe BJ's will end up doing that too. Sure, would save them lots of money on paper.

Think of those BJ's coupons as something that is on sale at BJ's. Any item you are going to write on your list has to have a BJ's coupon.

There are some exceptions because some items have a coupon once a year or never.

Here's a list of those:

Meat (Perdue frequently goes on sale, but not enough for us to last one whole chicken for 3 months)


That's it.

Pretty much everything else has BJ's coupons( did you know you can print BJ's coupons online too?) for our basic needs. That's the other key to making a perfect grocery list.

You have to really have a good chat with yourself and figure out what it is you need and what it is you want. Wants to play big on emotions. So if you can learn to reel in the emotional spending you can make a grocery list that will keep your bank account fluffy.

So you are telling yourself right now- Only buy something that has a BJ's coupon right?


Know Your Budget

Then think about your budget. You have a budget, right? Oh dear, if not go here.

So if it is $100 for the week, you must head over to your pantry and take a quick scan.  I personally think BJ's has amazing prices on its spices and pantry items.

If you don't have the basic pantry items this first week, your list will be long and over budget- but next week you may even come under budget. Think of the positive!

So you know you have a $100. You looked in your freezer and pantry. You have some chicken stock and some pork tenderloin.

First, think of meals you can make just based on what you have. This is good to use up what you have to create more space in your kitchen and not spend money on food you don't need. See, emotional spending is harder with food because we look at all food as a need.

But if you have basic pantry staples and some protein, do you really need all those carb-loaded snacks?

I know the good thing you are here 🙂


Step 3

You have to have TO shop from your pantry first. Not a typo I want you to understand that. 🙂

So let's say you came up with two meals based on what you already have. We have seven days in a week. You need to figure out five more meals to make. Also, when you browsed in your pantry, you were looking for any snacks, breakfast, and lunch ideas, too, right?

Remember, breakfast can always be simple. Eggs, toast, oatmeal, cereal. All these things are cheap.

So you need to come up with 5 dinner meals. Look through the BJ's Coupon Matchup lists. Use the Ctrl + F and type in the protein you are looking for. Let's say chicken.

Guess what comes up? Perdue Oven Roaster Chicken has a coupon!

You are going to fill the rest of your week with that protein. You can probably get two meals out of that roaster. They are bigger.

What should you have as a side? Maybe frozen veggies? Whatever you are thinking for a side, do a search again for it on the coupon matchup list.

You can check your local grocery store's ad if nothing comes up. Use the Flipp app to compare grocery stores' sale prices.

Otherwise, stick with frozen veggies. These are always a great price at BJ's- we always get the Organic variety too.

Now you are left with three meals. Do you need to have meat in all three meals?

Easy Pepper Jack and Corny Crab Dip

Grab the recipe for the dip here.


Figure out your meals.

Could you do pasta for a couple of nights? You can get pasta free or dirt cheap at BJ's and many other grocery stores. This really depends on your budget again.

If things are tighter this week, have pasta for three nights. If not, pick another meat or a meat-free protein.

Then think of the snacks your family likes. Start typing those in the coupon matchups. You can use the BJ's website for almost all the items at BJ's, so you will know how much you are spending for the week.

If you are thinking, ok, that's all fine and dandy, I have NO IDEA what to make my family. Think simple. You do not need three sides. Do one protein and one side. You do not need dessert every night. That's just too much work. Think simple.

Check out this website where you can type in what you have in your fridge and it will create meals for you.

You can always join me every Monday here on the blog when I post my Menu Plan Monday. I know meal planning is a need for so many people, and the struggle is real.

You can sign up for Realplans, which is a meal planning app, that allows you to enter what you have in your fridge, and they will come up with meals for you.

Plus, you can link it to any Instacart account, too, for items you may need to complete your meal menu. ( See a more detailed post on Realplans HERE)

If you don't want a free monthly service, you can grab my one-time download, Meal Planner!

You can grab my Ultimate Meal Planning Binder HERE. ( Note this is hosted on my Frugal Living Blog!)

You are creating the perfect grocery list when you are buying things you need and buying items on sale and when you can maximize the sale price with a manufacturer or an app ecoupon.

I hope that helps. 

Download a free shopping list HERE.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE BJS DEALS!  Come Hang and Score Deals with us on Tiktok too!  $20 BJ's Membership Deal HERE

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