At SavingDinner.com, we get a lot of questions having to do with grocery shopping: how to make a grocery list to what to put on it and even how to shop. So here’s how I do it and it works; feel free to adjust as necessary for your family.
You make your grocery list according to what you eat! My grocery list and your grocery list are going to look necessarily different because our likes and dislikes are different; our family sizes are different, etc. There is a mindset on how you make your list though, and I’m going to share mine.
First off, I have several things that help me make my food list for the week:
- A plan for dinner (you knew I’d say that, didn’t you? I use the Low Carb menu from Dinner Answers—I just love it. It’s not only helped me slay the body clutter on my booty, it’s also a great way to eat so you don’t feel bloated when you go to bed)
- A perpetual pantry list for breakfast, lunch and snacks (my “pantry” includes stuff that gets refrigerated and frozen as well)
I don’t make a list for my veggies per se. Instead, I know I’m going to need veggies for the week, so I make my list to include salad greens, dark leafy greens and whatever looks good, is on sale and is in season—those last two points help keep my budget in line. Next, I fill in with freezer veggies (I love multi-colored bell pepper strips, green beans, snap peas, chopped turnip greens, collards, corn, etc.). I make sure I keep about 2-3 frozen veggies on hand, buy fresh stuff as much as is affordable and then—this is the important part!—I use up the stuff that will go bad quickly, FIRST. So let’s say I bought fresh baby spinach, a head of red leaf lettuce and a bunch of broccoli to use this week. The fresh spinach with an expiration date of 5 days from now will get used first, then the salad greens and later on the broccoli, as that is the most hearty veggie.
There are several produce items I keep on hand in the fridge that last a long time: celery (wrap it in foil to keep it fresh for several weeks), carrots, apples and citrus. I have onions (red and yellow), garlic, shallots, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes in my pantry closet. These foods get used regularly and I keep an eye on them so I can remember to replenish them as needed.
For breakfast, keep a list of things your family eats and that becomes your perpetual breakfast shopping list. For me, I have frozen waffles, peanut butter (great breakfast to go is a toasted whole grain waffle with peanut butter smeared over the top), eggs and egg substitute, whole grain bread, whipped unsalted butter, steel cut oats, kefir, yogurt, frozen berries, orange juice, protein powder and milk. Lunch is always leftover food from the night before (yes, I always make extra, it’s just easier to not have to think about lunch the next day) or, on the rare occasion I don’t have any leftovers, I’ll make a pot of soup and go for that. Right now, I have a pot of 17-bean soup with sweet potatoes in it, yum! I’m having that for dinner tonight with a spinach salad, btw!
Anyway, that’s how I do it and it works well, keeps my budget in line and keeps my nutrition pumped and my calories under control. If you want a free sample of my basic plan, you can go to my site, www.savingdinner.com. Sign up for the free newsletters and we’ll send you a link to get the free menu.
Knowing how to grocery shop wisely is what will keep your wallet and your body both healthy!