How To Create An Efficient Grocery List
Save Money, Waste Less, Eat Healthier, Save Time!
I used to go to the grocery store without a plan and buy a bunch of random food that I would eat a little bit of and weeks later throw most of it away. I would end up ordering take out and feeling tired and unhealthy everyday. I don’t even want to think about how much time and money I wasted! A few years ago I moved in with my boyfriend and I knew I wanted to be responsible for most of the cooking. I started planning meals ahead of time and making a list before going to the grocery store. Since then, I have become a well oiled grocery shopping machine!
I want to share my methods with anyone who wants to live a healthier and more environmentally conscious life. Each week I will share my shopping list and meal plan. I know it is a bit ambitious, but I would like to post everyday about how everything turns out. Please feel free to share any feedback!
Let’s Get Started With Meal Planning
I usually take time on Saturday to plan all my meals for the following week. I take into consideration how many meals I will need to make and how much time I have to spend cooking. If I don’t have any events that week I still only plan six dinners instead of seven because I know we might eat out at least once. Next, I survey what perishable items I have in my refrigerator and what pantry staples I may need to replace. There are a few items I buy every week like bananas, apples, grapefruit and lemons. I try to eat seasonably, so I factor that into recipes I choose. I have been cooking a lot of squash and beets this fall! I use Pinterest to look for recipes and keep them organized. Here is a link to my Pinterest account if you would like to check it out! As I find recipes I begin to fill out my shopping list.
This is how I organize it. I like to break down the food items by categories so I am more organized when I get to the store. I write down the titles of all the dinners and breakfast recipes from Pinterest so I can quickly find them on my boards when it is time for me to cook them. I add whatever items the recipes call for that I don’t already have. I have been shopping this way for years now so I have a good idea of everything that is in my cupboards, but I still glance over them so I do not have to make any additional trips to the store. If you notice I did not include a section for Lunch on my list. That’s because I plan my dinners big enough that there will be enough leftover for lunch for my boyfriend and I the next day. I also plan in snacks, but I don’t make an additional section for it. We always eat fruit and nuts as snacks and I alternate each week packing yogurt, hummus and carrots, and spicy black bean dip with carrots for my boyfriend. Take in account any non food items like plastic wrap or aluminum foil you may need for the week.
This is what a finished grocery list looks like. It is a bit messy but it is just for my use. Feel free to organize your list to suit your preferences. I write notes to myself about when I want to cook each meal. I don’t always do this, but I have been trying to adhere to a stricter schedule so I can be more productive each day. Now I know when and what I will be cooking for the week. In later posts I’d like to cover related topics and tips.