Last week we talked about how important a well-stocked kitchen is to meal planning. It’s imperative to keep the foods you use most frequently on hand.
This week, let’s chat about streamlining your grocery shopping. If you’re like me, you love to go to the grocery store. I like to look at the produce, browse new specialty ingredients, and stand in the aisle just thinking about what I could create with this or that.
Not the most effective use of my time, especially when I have to go to three, sometimes four, stores to get everything we need. It’s one of the pieces of being on a ‘special’ diet that I haven’t been able to avoid. Yes, I order many of the foods I stock on-line. But there are certain items I can only get at one particular health food store.
Here’s how I streamlined the process:
- I made a master grocery list containing the par stock items I keep on hand and organized them by store and where they’re located within that particular store. (This is where the list you made from last week comes in!) That means all my produce items go in one category, my bulk items in another, meats in yet another, and so on.
- I make multiple copies of my master list and hang them together in my pantry on a cork board. As the week goes by I simply note what items I’m running low on. By the time I sit down and meal plan, half of my grocery list is complete and I can go to the store knowing I won’t leave without something I need. And, I don’t have to bother printing another list because I already have more lists hanging in the pantry that I can use for the coming weeks.
No, I haven’t been able to train my husband to mark off what he needs on a consistent basis. So, I check the refrigerator and pantry for his staple items, like his snacks, and add them to the list. I ask if he needs anything, too. It helps avoid an extra trip to the store.
I’ve got two free printable versions of the grocery list for you – one is a big master list if you can do most of your shopping at one store. The other is divided into four sections so you can list items by store in case you shop at multiple stores like I do. My brain needs very explicit categories, which is why I like to divide my list by store.
How do you streamline your grocery shopping? What items do you buy on-line?
Next week: Inventory Your Freezer