This month we’re talking pantry storage, grocery list, menu plan, and dinner recipes – simplifying and streamlining the process. Dinner happens every day. Let’s be ready for it.
Yesterday: Shop at Fewer Stores
Grocery Shopping Tip: Use Menu Planning to Reduce Trips to the Store
This one is a cliched piece of grocery-shopping-frugality advice, but it’s true, so it deserves a spot. The less often you go to the store, the fewer chances you get to cheat on your master pantry list or be tempted by sales and cleverly placed products.
Many factors go into the decision about how often you should grocery shop. But it will simplify life and greatly decrease the mental energy and stress involved if it is a decision rather than a haphazard, “Ack, we need milk today!” affair.
The best way to reduce the number of trips you have to make to the store is threefold:
- Plan your menu: all the meals. See last year’s 31 Days to Simplified Menu Planning for more on that.
- Plan your trips. You know it will happen regularly, so figure out when to make it part of your routine and decide that is when you will do it.
- Make a thorough list. Double check the status of everything on your master list, and, better yet, keep a backup and check your backup status.
These are the sure-fire steps to routinized, simpler, less frequent grocery runs, but they aren’t magic. They don’t run themselves. They are still work. It’s not the easy way out, but it is the way that gives peace of mind and of wallet. It’s worth it.
Last year I wrote about deciding upon a weekly, biweekly, or monthly grocery shopping routine. Many families are likely to choose some combination of these strategies. For example, I currently shop weekly at WinCo but only twice a month at Costco. Also, different seasons of life require adapting of the grocery routine. I used to go shopping monthly (except for picking up milk as needed), but with a family of 7, and hearty appetites all around, that’s just too much at once for me to manage these days, particularly since I often to bring the kids along. So try out the various strategies, but know that they are adaptable and flexible according to your own needs and situations. There is no one right way.
The best way to reduce the time spent on food-related tasks is to reduce the frequency of grocery store runs.
Tomorrow: The process of making a grocery list
Mystie Winckler began menu planning at 11 years old when her mom delegated one dinner a week to her. Marrying at 19, she’s had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling her family, meal planning often requires brain power that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is her solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too!
During the month of October only, while this series is running, use discount code 31days and receive $3 off!