Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The list that works for us

A lot of people raise an eyebrow when they hear that we do our grocery shopping "once a month". Though it's true, in all honesty, there are a couple of exceptions in getting our milk and eggs on a weekly basis, at the local Old Dutch Cupboard, or adding some more fresh fruit and veggies to the fridge through out the month.

But this works for us. I am amazed at how well we can "stick to budget" when we have this list with us. What I did was to create a "master" (a running list, saved as a document, ready to print) of what I have in the pantry, the freezer, the fridge, and so forth. I mean everything. Then all I have to do is to highlight/underline/mark with red (using my own little code) what I need for that particular shopping trip. I tried to organize items into categories - the way they would be found in the store. I confess, this hasn't been completely fine-tuned and can make me a little crazy. I think this part of the list may need some "hubby organization skills". ;) Hey, it's just one of those things we forget about until the next month rolls around. Oh, well.

We have found several discount grocery stores in the Lancaster, PA area that serve us well to meet our needs, however, on occasion, there are those items that just can't be found and we'll go to a regular grocery store for those. And that is fine. So - over the course of time- it's been a system that works for us. We take two coolers, we buy ice, have to pack and stack everything just so... it's crazy, but fun!! It's a great day out as a family and the little ones do just fine.

Ask me about times when I've done this myself...and one of them falls asleep right before we get there...plus I have to maneuver two carts around. Arrgh!!

But, I love my list idea. It's great to print it out early in the month, post it to the fridge (or wherever) so that it is handy to check off what I need to replenish as the meals roll by, from week to week, and as the pantry empties.

You may wonder if we always stick to the marked-up list? The answer to that is simply- "No! I just can't...". You never know what you're going to find at a discount grocery store... and there is always something, that you see, that you realize you forgot to mark down. Or, in other words, you can be choosy, but you can't be picky. It's a (major) call for flexiblity, but it's worth it.

: : What have you found useful as you prepare your grocery list? Do you use coupons? Do you always stick to budget? Do you even have a budget? I would love to hear from you...


  1. Yes, we use a budget and I try to stick to it pretty closely. I hate using coupons because I just haven't had a lot of success with them. I shop at a discount grocer and get Great Value at Wal-Mart. But how do you try new recipes? I'm always putting 3 or 4 new items on my list that I don't normally have because of something special that I'm doing, etc. Your list appeals to me because I am an organizer at heart, but I'd like to know better how your list works with your meal planning. Or do you look at what is in your cupboard to plan your menus? I do keep a large pantry and always have "an extra in the basement." I love that.

  2. Thanks Anonymous, for your comment and questions.

    Trying new recipes is fun for me. I guess if it's something that I have most ingrediants for - its a definite try. There are times when I go off the list - in effort to maintain "creativity" in the kitchen. You should read my post "Dump" http://treasuredupandpondered.blogspot.com/2009/02/dump.html
    (if you care to) and that explains alot of how I am in the kitchen. Alot of times it will be a meal based on something around an item/ingrediant that needs to get used up- quick!

    I don't use coupons either - basically, because discount grocery stores don't except them. And I love my pantry stocked too. There is always at least that one can of tuna, because you never know. ;)

    Thanks again, for sharing.


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