September 17, 2009 by Marci
Each Sunday night, I make my menu plan for the week. This helps take the guess work out of wondering what’s for dinner each night. There’s nothing worse than facing a hungry family at the end of the day, when you are all tired and maybe a bit cranky, and not having any idea what you are going to feed them! If I have a plan, there is no problem!
Making a menu plan, also, makes the dredded chore of grocery shopping faster and easier. If I know what I am cooking, I know what to buy. I have it on my grocery list. No more wondering around the store aimlessly wasting my time and patience.
How To Make a Grocery List
The items on my grocery list come from two sources: the list on my fridge and my menu plan. I have a magnetic list on my fridge where I write down any items in the pantry or fridge that I am running out of. That way, I can just copy that list onto the grocery list when it is time to go to the store. Next, I go through each dish in my menu plan and figure out which needed ingredients I don’t have on hand and those items go on the grocery list, too.
The Next Step
After I have all the items on my grocery list, I take it one step further to make my shopping even easier. I have an excel file that has grocery catagories listed in the order they are found in my most visited grocery store. For instance, the heading “produce” is listed first, then “deli”, then “meat” and so on. I take my grocery list and plug all of the items into a category on the excel sheet. (Lately, I’ve been having my 8 year old daughter do this for me. It is a great sorting and teaching tool!) I print out this excel sheet and, now, this is my new grocery list. When I get to the store I know what I am looking for in each section. I don’t have to search and sort through my list in the middle of the grocery aisles. As I find each item, I cross it off my list. This helps avoid back tracking through the store because I forgot graham crackers.
This is just a little extra step that can save time, aggravation and money. Do you have any grocery tips that make your life easier?