Monday, January 24, 2011

Grocery Shopping, Menu Making, Coupon Cutting

I feel like I have miles to go to get most of my home organized, but one thing I do feel confident in is grocery shopping. Since I just went through my process tonight, I thought I would share.

Years ago I made a master list of groceries I buy on a regular basis divided up by sections in my Walmart. If you want a copy, let me know and I will email it to you. So once a month, I print one out, and first check off the things I know off the top of my head we are out of. A few months ago I made a master list of meals that I know my family enjoys and I don't mind cooking. So I make a list of about 15-20 meals, depending on how our month looks, and write those down on a piece of paper. I flip the page over and make a list of all the ingredients I will need to make those meals. And then go through my kitchen to see if I have them and add what I need to my list. A friend I had lunch with yesterday was making fun of someone who has her menu set for the whole month. I do not have meals assigned to different days, just a list of meals that I know I have the ingredients for.

I do use and love coupons. I watched this show on TLC a few weeks ago about mega coupon users, and those people are crazy. That is a full time job for them. They are digging through trash cans and begging neighbors for their coupons and have binders. That is not me. Once or twice a month, I go to www.grocerysmarts.com. That is the best website I have found for coupons. It has all of the major sites listed on their site, and its really easy to navigate and get what you want. So I print those off, and add some of that to my list. Than I make one more run through the house to double check my list and ask my family if there is anything they need, and I am done. It takes me an hour or two, but I do it over a few days before my big trip, most the night before so my list is fresh in my brain. I would say I buy 75% of my groceries once a month. Then I only have to go once a week or less to buy a few little things to get us through the month. I can handle that with my kids. I have to make my big trip by myself. Some months I have to do two carts. So I do all the nonperishable things, check out, load my car, and then go back for the perishable. I haven't had to do that in awhile. I'm not sure why. And I make my big trip to Walmart. I don't know why so many people complain. They are the cheapest. If you go on a weekday morning, it's really quiet. I make my smaller trips to Randalls or Kroger.

So that's what I do. To even get more organized, my momma just bought me a recipe saver book, so I can transfer all my favorite recipes into one book instead of this big stack of cookbooks. I'm not sure when I'll have time to do it, but we'll get there sometime.

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