My first advice: use coupons.
Second, build your weekly menu around what is on sale.
Third, find a way to use leftovers in different recipes.
Fourth, do not buy it simply because it’s on sale, unless it’s a non-perishable staple (i.e. paper towels, toilet paper, some canned goods).
Here’s a two-main menu plan. (If I’m feeling ambitious I will throw in pork chops and prepare them different ways, every third night):
Get a pot roast and a large chicken on sale, and stock up on the veggies you like that go with each dish below. This is good for up to 9 or 10 days, if you prepare ahead, freeze, and alternate nights:
First night: Pot roast with vegetables
Cut, cube, and separate the meat. Freeze half.
Second night: Baked Chicken (stuffing on the side so a) it will cook faster and b) you can separate the meat without much of a hassle)
Cut and section the chicken, separate the meat into 2 batches, one for soup (off the bone) and one for cacciatore (either on or off the bone).
Third night: stroganoff (egg noodles are good and cheap, get the packaged stroganoff gravy for a dollar)
Fourth night: Chicken Soup with Dumplings (Dumplings made with flour, baking soda, and salt)
Fifth night: Beef Stew (your choice on veggies, gravy, etc)
Sixth night: Chicken Cacciatore (simmer chicken with tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and garlic, over inexpensive pasta). Or, bake the chicklen with cream-of-whatever soup for an hour in a 350-degree oven. Serve with a side of pasta or over rice.
Seventh night: Splurge a little. Try making canned salmon patties. Use leftover bread for breadcrumbs. Or, whip up a biscuit-topped tuna casserole in under an hour – it’s always a hit.
Eigth night: Beef Pot Pie - the Jiffy Pie Crust in the box is still under a dollar!
Ninth night: Chicken Salad (your choice on prep)