Hello Hello! I am so excited about this week because I have teamed up with some ROCK STAR bloggers to help us all get a little more organized!! (Heaven knows I can use some help!!)
We’ve called it Organizing 101:
Using what we already have to create what we really need.
Today I get to share how I plan a menu and use that menu to grocery shop…without breaking the bank.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes the thought of going grocery shopping makes me want to poke a fork in my eye. I don’t always love it. But I’ve come up with a fairly simple system that helps me stay organized AND keeps me from wasting money buying things I’ve already got in my pantry.
The most important thing I do BEFORE I go to the grocery store is:
SHOP MY PANTRY AND FRIDGE
(Yeah, that’s my mother-in-law’s pantry, but it looks so pretty and organized right? Go HERE for to see the transformation.)
I shop my pantry and fridge first. I make a Meal List of all of the things that we can make with the things we already have. The Meal List is divided into sections: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks.
(I hang the Meal List on the fridge for the week so my family knows what they can have for
snacks, and they can help choose what’s for dinner from what we have planned.)
As I create this list, if I think of a meal we can almost have, if I just bought one or two more ingredients, then I add it to the Meal List, and the extra ingredients I need to buy to my Shopping List.
For example: After checking the freezer, we have some frozen steak. In the pantry there is noodles and sauces. We could have beef and broccoli stir fry if we only had broccoli. Okay, add broccoli to the grocery list, and we are set.
My Shopping List is organized into 4 sections: veggie and fruit, aisles, cold items, and paper products. (Under paper products I add make-up if I need it).
I always shop for the veggies and fruit first because that is the section you enter at our store. Afterwards I head down the aisles, getting bread, canned goods, and cereal. I leave the cold items for last so they don’t get warm while I shop.
Because I usually grocery shop with kids, this system keeps me organized as I go and keeps me from wandering down aisles with no direction. We get in and out so much faster, which keeps the kids from getting too bored too quickly.
Using this menu planning system has eliminated buying a bunch of excess groceries that will go bad before we have time to eat them. In the past, I used to just go to the store and walk up and down each aisle, grabbing whatever I needed. That was pretty ridiculous once I got to the check out…our grocery bill was sky high, and I didn’t even know what I was going to make with what I bought.
Now, I have direction.
Now I have a plan.
Now our grocery bill is a fraction of what it was before, saving us enough money to eat out in case I don’t feel like actually cooking one night.
How about you? How do you plan your menu? Does your family like to eat the same things over and over? Are y’all leftover kind of people? Do you have some great grocery shopping tips? Please share!!
And please check out our other posts in the Organizing 101 series. It’s going on all week long! Here’s the schedule:
Karah @ the space between
Allison @ House of Hepworths
Jamie @ C.R.A.F.T.
Becky @ Organizing Made Fun