Saturday, March 2, 2013

Peace at the Grocery Store

 Back in January I told you my word for 2013 was peace.  I am feeling pretty good about peace in my home, but when it comes to grocery shopping, that's another story.  Until now.  In the past I have always planned our menus week by week, writing in recipe titles and cookbook page numbers on a calendar.  It was a lot of work, because each time I sat down to plan, I'd have to drag out all the cookbooks and then write down the ingredients on my list.  When I finally got to the store, my list wasn't in any particular order, so I'd often overlook something or it would get left off the list accidentally.  

Around Thanksgiving I took the Plan to Eat plunge.  They were running a sale for a year-long subscription for around $20, so I thought it was worth it to give it a try.  If you've never looked at the site, the quick version is that you enter your recipes on the site and then can plan your menu with a few simple clicks.  Then you can print a shopping list that shows all of the ingredients and has a key so you know which recipe the items are for.

The first couple of times I went shopping after I started seemed a little easier, but not significantly easier like I was hoping.  There were a few glitches on my end such as not choosing the right dates to print, but the list was more organized.

The last three times I've planned and shopped it's been a breeze (except for the two small people who accompany me) so I thought I'd share what works for me.  It's kind of time consuming so it may not work for you, but while I'm doing more work before I go to the store, the actual shopping trip is much quicker.

I plan menus at least two weeks at a time.  PE days are almost always crock pot meals or something from the freezer.  We also run errands on those days, so I don't want to cook something huge and involved after running around all afternoon.  I also plan around Jay's work schedule.  Once I've got my menu planned, I print my list, which is what you see in the first picture.

After I have the list, I go through my pantry to see what I already have because every single ingredient is listed, down to salt and pepper.  There is probably an option to not print everything, but I like to see it so I don't assume I've got it and then be stuck without in the middle of cooking.  If I don't need it, I cross it off.

The last thing I do is make my new list (the second picture).  I sort everything into categories so that my list is set up in the same order I get to those items in the store.  So all I have to do is walk in and start shopping!  I don't have to backtrack and I don't think I've forgotten anything in the last six weeks, so even though this takes some time I am so happy with it!

(And now I feel old because not only am I so excited about my new grocery shopping plan, but I even blogged about it.  Next thing you know I'll be telling you what I think is great about toilet paper.  Oh....)

1 comment:

Amanda in RI said...

Good job! Menu planning IS a lot of work, and it's always so nice to find a system that works!