my giddy aunt - I thought I was organised but you've well outdone my process!
So... I shop once a week now (used to be once a fortnight). We eat a variety of things over the space of a fortnight and I keep a permanent shopping list on the computer with a list of everything I need for the fortnight.
When shopping day comes, I get my list and check my cupboards/fridge/freezer. If I haven't already got what I need, it goes on a written list that I take to the shops.
I have a pad in the kitchen drawer which I use to keep a note of unusual things that crop up from time to time that aren't on my main list.... new bootlaces for hubby, that sort of thing.
I use the same one supermarket all the time so I know where everything is (so I can get in there and get out again as quickly as poss!) and also so I know they'll have what I want, and I know what their own brand stuff is like. I try and buy own brand wherever poss (i.e. when I like it) so that saves a fortune.
I do like to buy organic vegs from the stall in town if I happen to be there...
From time to time I change things that are on our permanent menu, like I just cut out bacon, prepackaged sliced meats and sausages cos of the nitrites in them, so I'll be cooking a joint and using some of it for sandwich meat, and making my own sausages (without skins... should be interesting...). Everytime I change something like that, the main shopping list gets changed and I work from the updated one.
This topic came up on another team I visit. What a great discussion so I thought I would give us the opportunity to learn from our fellow sparkies.
It's a long post, but here is my process. Please take a moment to share your tips with others. This is a journey for all of us and every idea we share is a spark for someone else.
It's a process for me. It has taken a while to perfect a system that works for me.
First I look at our family calendar to see who has to be where and when. Then I put my menu together based on that.
Every Saturday I get the Sunday paper. I make a list of what is on sale at Aldi, Publix, CVS and Kroger. I make sure I know who has the best sale price. I also clip my coupons.
Then I take my recipe cards and build my list. Then I take the running list off the fridge and add it to the list I am building. There is a rule that I am firm about. If it isn't on the list, you don't get it. It was hard to get the family on the right page with this, but I stuck to my guns and they went without once and now they never forget to get it on the list.
I take my list and shop my cupboard first.
Then I put a C, P, K or A outside the item on the list so I know where I will get that item. I put an additional C if I have a coupon.
My coupons get sorted by store and clipped together. (sometimes I will make a separate list for each store, but I don't always have the time)
Then I hit the road. I am a woman with a mission. I am armed with my list of what must get purchased and my list from each store. Then I take my assigned dollar amount to each store and spend it to the penny including the coupons. So if I have 40 for Publix in cash and 10 in coupons, I will spend 50 in food items. This allows me to keep my house stocked and most of the time, I only have to purchase milk, bread, meat and fresh veggies as must haves. Everything else is just taking advantage of a great price and stocking up. So I guess I only pay regular price on the must have items.
It has taken me a long time to get to the place where I am fully stocked on pantry items. I try to keep one or two of something on hand. I don't want to hoard. Otherwise your space is packed and it might expire. Then I am wasting and not saving.
Great discussion! I love this topic. I have so much fun on my Tuesday shop day. I am amazed at how much stuff I can come home with each week armed with my weekly 200.00 and coupons.
I hope you all have a great plan that works for you. It really makes the difference.
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