When my children were home and still in school time was a very important factor as well as stretching the food dollars as far as they would go. We didn't have computers or the Internet least of all cell phones. Today staying organized with all the electronics makes life so much easier however there are a few basics that never change.
When I shopped for food I would buy enough to last a month. To buy enough food to last a month for a family took quite a bit of planning. The savings were well worth any time that I spent in the planning stage. Today I shop once a week for food and once a month for cleaning and other supplies.
It is estimated that Americans throw away into the trash over $600.00 in food per person every year...that comes from poor planning or no planning at all. Many American families eat out in fast food or chain restaurant's three to four times a week. Compared to those families who cook at least six times a week the savings are tremendous to these families.
I have to start with a well organized pantry so that I can take a quick look at what I need so I can prepare meals without always having to stop and run to the store. Or worse yet to stop by the Grocery Store on the way home from work and wonder up and down the isle trying to make a decision what to cook for dinner that is wasted time and money. Different regions and different cultures will have different food items in their basic pantry. Whatever your cooking taste and recipes are, stock your pantry around your families personal taste.
If you want you can set up a spread sheet on the computer or visit one of the on line sites that let you plan your menu and then print the grocery list from the menu. I recently visited the http://www.kitchenmonki.com/ site. They offer a great service and its FREE. Another
Start with Sunday then make a plan for breakfast and dinner for Sunday through Saturday.
I rarely include lunch as most workers or school children eat in the cafeteria. If your workers and or school children are taking a sack lunch, then you would want to include that in the plan.
Next look at all the recipes on your plan and begin to make your grocery list.
Take the list to your pantry and your refrigerator and put down just the things that you will need to complete the weeks menu's and any
When the grocery list is complete, look at your coupon book, go online and look for coupons.
One of the stores that I like to shop has recently started an on line service that allows you to make a grocery list from the week end sale items. It is categorized according to departments and will print any coupons that will match your list items, this makes shopping very easy. I tried it last week and just loved the efficiency. I only use coupons for the products that I use. It has always been my feeling we really don't save any money if we are buying something that we will never use just to use the coupon.
Now we are off to the Grocery Store with the list and the coupons.
Stick to the list! Stay focused and don't be distracted by all the wonderful goodies that are not on your list. This is where you can really save money. If you see a new product that you would like to try, jot it down on a note pad and incorporate the product in next weeks food plan. Make it a fun experience because if you have planned you won't have to come back for a week!
Tomorrow Watch for "What's For Dinner Next Week"...see you then!
Peace and Joy