Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gathering Food for the Tribe

It's grocery shopping day.  Not that I have a regular grocery day, I know some folks do (do you?) and go to the store like clockwork so they are never without milk and bread.  Me? I go when the fridge is starting to look bare or, more importantly, when I am totally out of coffee creamer.  Like today.

I had to go to McDonald's this morning for my coffee. And I got an egg white and cheddar biscuit, to go along with my coffee.  If you don't know, I do like McD's (I don't really care what folks say, they are the best french fries) but this was not part of my meal plan. See what happens when you run out of coffee creamer?

I have a pretty routine process that at least keeps me organized when I do go to the grocery store.

  • list of stuff I've run out of
  • recipes
  • family calendar
  • coupons

Grocery List Prep
My grocery list is in order of the grocery store layout.  Veggies and fruits first, fresh fish and meat, dry foods/pantry staples, cold/frozen foods, household cleaning stuff.  This saves me from wandering back and forth though the store.

What are we out of? I keep a running list on the side of my fridge - the stuff that I run out of and will definitely forget to put on a list. Salt, dishwashing liquid, butter - all those pantry staples that you always think you have, until you reach for it and remember you used the last little drop three days ago.  Then consider basic household staples - drinks, juices, food for lunch, breakfast food, etc. All that stuff goes on the list.

I also, when organized enough, put this stuff on my cozi.com app grocery list for when I have a few minutes between dropping kids off places and can run into the store.

Flip through the latest issue of Cooking Light (or whichever issue I find first) or a cookbook off the shelf  for dinner ideas for the week.  Then I check the family calendar to figure out when we'll actually be eating dinner at home, when we'll be eating on the way to somewhere, and when I'll be home to cook dinner.  Based on all of that, I plan for the meals that require dedicated kitchen time, quick dinners, crockpot and cook ahead meals, and inventive sandwiches and quesadillas.

Add all of the food stuff from the recipes to the grocery shopping list.  If there's a particular recipe that I'm not sure I'm going to make or requires some odd-ball ingredient that I may or may not find at the regular grocery store, I list all of those ingredients together, so I know that if I don't find everything, I don't need to get the rest of it, either.

Check for coupons.  I pull out all the coupons for food and cleaning items on the list and clip those together so I can find them when I get to the checkout line.

Grab all my reusable shopping bags - save 5 cents for each bag!

And off I go to gather food for my little tribe.

Now if there was just someone waiting to bring it all in and put it away, that would be great.

Share in the comments any other grocery shopping tips you have!

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1 comment:

Mommyx4 said...

Note - I use a regular notepad for my grocery list and another meal planning notepad for my weekly meals. There are some cute menu board ideas over on Pinterest, I've collected some on my "In the Kitchen" board - just in case I ever get around to it.