I thought I would take a moment to share how I do my grocery and menu planning.
My personal menu/grocery list is something that I created for my own use. There are many websites where you can find pre-made generic grocery lists – however, most of the lists I have found online I felt weren’t a “fit” for my shopping habits. They would often have lots of things listed that I would never buy, or they would omit things that I bought every time I go to the store. So I took the idea, and using “Word” on my computer, created my own personal grocery list. I even put the sections in the order of the aisles of the grocery store, so that I can go right down my list and not miss anything and have to back-track.
Under each section of my form, I also have a couple blank spaces, so if there is something that I don’t usually purchase, I can write it in.
On the lower corner, I have a list of numbered lines for the meal planning. A day or two before “payday”, I will sit down and make the list of what meals I will be cooking during this next period. Being military, we are paid twice a month, and there is normally never more than 18 days between the two, so that is the number of lines I have prepared. I will count how many days I will actually have, and list off that many meals, plus one. The reason I do a “plus one” is so I have a little flexibility, or in case I need to make a meal for a family.
Once I have the list of meals, I go through my list, and mark off all of the ingredients that I will need to prepare the meals. I go through each meal, and check my pantry to see what I need and what I don’t. This way, I know I have everything I need before it comes time to cook, and I don’t have to run to the store because I forgot something.
When I have done all my shopping, I take a pair of scissors, cut out the menu, and stick it on my fridge. Each day, I will look at the menu and see what we are in the mood for “tomorrow.” I will take anything out of the freezer that I’ll need the next day (I hate using a microwave, and don’t ever want to have to thaw anything that way) and will cross off things as I make them.
I don’t feel the need to make my menu in a certain order, because what if we don’t feel like lasagna on Tuesday? Or what if we have a REALLY busy day, and I don’t have time for Roast Beef? I like that flexibility.
This is my system, it makes life easier! If you would like to see my grocery list, you can download it here.
Feel free to use mine, but I encourage you to create one that is suited to your family and where you shop. Let’s make life a little easier, shall we?