Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘grocery shopping

If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you will know that after I got married, I struggled with finding effective ways of meal planning and grocery shopping.

Search grocery shopping and you’ll come across several blog posts about my struggles.

#thestruggleISreal

Here’s the new system I’ve implemented and it almost seems like something that should have been easy enough to implement from the beginning.

While planning the week out in my planner, I take a moment to write out five dishes that I think I can make for the week.  Why five?  Because I usually end up making more than we need and end up with leftovers that we can carry over into another night’s dinner.

I don’t assign a specific night.

Easy peasy.

Then, I take that list and shop accordingly.

It’s like a light bulb moment.  It’s a low pressure system.  I still get the freedom of cooking whatever I want, when I want, just based on the list of foods I set for the week.  Why did I make it so hard on myself before?

The only difficulty I have is picking the five meals.

To fix that, I am going to list ALL the meals that I have cooked, I can cook, or would like to try and cook.  As recipes get tried and approved, I will add them to this list.  Then, I will have a master list of foods to choose from so I don’t have to wreck my brain trying to think of five different dinners.

We’re on week three of this system and it’s been working.  Grocery shopping has been fast and easy.  Food wasting has been the lowest it has been in a long time.  This system also pushes me to really try those recipes that I have been dreaming of testing.

Looks like it’s time for me to resurrect the Joe, Party of 4 food blog!

What’s your meal planning/grocery shopping system?

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Since we got married in 2010, I have had so many issues trying to figure out the best way to grocery shop and meal plan.

I’ve tried everything.

I’ve tried to meal plan for the week ahead and then buy accordingly. 

I’ve tried to figure out what I’m going to cook for dinner than night and hit the grocery store after work to buy accordingly.

I’ve tried just forgetting all the grocery shopping all together and rely on eating out.  Ok, maybe not this so much, but I’ve been tempted to..

I think that I’ve finally figured out a system that works for me.  It may not be the most efficient way, but it’s been working for me for the past month, and I’m really enjoying my success.

About once a week, I go to the grocery store.  I start in the produce section and just start looking around.  It is while I’m looking around that I start to think of foods I can make with the produce in front of me.  While I’m planning these meals in my head, I start to buy accordingly.

Once I’m finished with the produce, I proceed to go down the store aisle by aisle brainstorming ideas just by looking at all the foods available.  Sometimes, I have to go back to the produce section to buy more vegetables that go well with a food I thought of making during my stroll.

I can walk out of the store with at least 3-5 meal ideas that can last us about a week, depending on how many leftovers we accumulate.

It’s a great system for me.  I’ve also found that walking aisle by aisle down a grocery store to be a little relaxing.

I joked with Hubby that I used to do these strolls at the mall, now I do them in a grocery store!

I’m glad I found a system that works. 

What’s your grocery style?!

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When I first moved to SD, I remember writing a blog post about how to manage grocery shopping, meal planning, and stuff like that..

It’s been about two years since then, and while I thought I had it under control, evidently, I don’t.

For awhile, we were buying a lot of perishables at Costco, but realized that we were throwing so much food away because it would go bad before we could make a dent in the stash..

We decided that we’d go grocery shopping for veggies and other perisables about once a week at a regular grocery store.  We’d plan what foods to make for the week and then buy accordingly.

Even THAT is proving difficult.

We were at the grocery store on Saturday.  I could NOT figure out what I wanted to make for this week.  It’s hard to decide on food ahead of time.

There are just too many options.  AND it’s hard to think about food when you aren’t hungry!

Maybe it’s because I’m a working mom, that I’m having such a hard time with this.  I just wish we could come up with a better system that doesn’t require a daily trip to the grocery store to get the veggies that I need for dinner that night.

I’m all for the freezing of cooked meals to have for future use, but since we don’t have a big freezer, we have no room for storage..

Any suggestions?!

Ok.. so it’s either I’m putting WAAAAY too much thought into this grocery shopping thing.. or I really have no idea what I’m doing..

Last night.. I was on the floor of our living room with flyers from Ralphs, Vons, Albersons, Sprouts, and Henry’s spread out around me.. and I was going nuts trying to figure out where to go and what had the best value and when and why.. Grrrr..

My good friends and family on Facebook gave me wonderful answers to my blog questions from “Grocery gameplan..”

This is all new to me.. and I know I’m not going to get it all right away.. but I’m the impatient type that’s used to getting things right away.. and getting things done right immediately.. I usually pride myself on being a fast learner.. but this thing is ridiculous.. it’s really taking a toll of my patience level..

So.. do you grocery store hop for the best deal?  Or do you stick to just one store?

I know that eventually I’ll get the hang of all this “wife stuff..”

I just hope I keep my sanity during the process..

This is our first full week in the apartment since we’ve moved in.. and we went to the grocery store.. A LOT! We are also still trying to figure out what our necessities are in the kitchen..

Hubby and I need to reconsider our grocery gameplan..

So.. we want to know what how everyone else handles their grocery shopping by answering a few questions… please leave your answers and advice in the comments..

1. Are you a visit the grocery store on an “as needed” basis, or do you wait for several items to become needed and do one big grocery store visit?

2.  What sort of items do you always have on hand in your kitchen, what foods/items/drinks are ALWAYS stocked in your home?  What are your necessities?

3.  What is your strategy with coupons?  Do you use them?  How do you know how and where to make the most out of them?  How do you organize them?

Please leave your answers as comments to this blog, or point me to some blogs that may have some more advice that I could look at..


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