How do you grocery shop?

14 Apr

Just a quick question today – How do you grocery shop? Do you shop each week? Once a month? And in that same vein, do you meal plan before shopping or just pick up what you know you need? I’ve recently started meal planning about 4 meals a week and grocery shopping from there. I’m only planning 4 meals to account for left overs and the other random meals I can make from items in the freezer. I think it’s been super helpful to meal plan because it helps me buy what we need and not too many erroneous items. In years past, I would come home with $100 worth of groceries and nothing to make for dinner. My husband used to be rather surprised when I would say I didn’t have a plan for dinner that night after having just shopped. It turns out it’s so much easier to cook during the week and grocery shop with just a little planning ahead of time. 🙂

What I’ve been doing is sitting down to start my list and writing down the items I know we need (or looking at the list I’ve written as we’ve run out of items). It’s most of the staples for us, eggs, bread, milk, and the few random items we may have run out of. Also, I tried to keep a few extras of condiments and nonperishables in our cabinets so if I see we’ve used up that stock, I’ll put that item on the list as well. Then I go to my fridge/freezer to see what’s left towards the end of the week. If we still have a few packages of chicken frozen (I usually buy a few and freeze ’em) then I won’t buy meat that coming week and will use what’s in the freezer first. This week I’m using ground turkey (for tacos) that’s in the freezer and then we’re out of meat so I’ll have to buy some this week.

I also like to freeze my breads/bagels/rolls and other items that I know we won’t completely use in a week that I don’t want to spoil.  For example, I bought these great whole wheat rolls a few weeks ago for burgers but we only ended up eating 4 of the 8 rolls. So, I popped the rest in the freezer for another day. Last night we had sandwiches so I pulled out a few rolls, let them thaw, and they were great. 

The last thing I do to prepare for my grocery shopping trip is to organize my coupons. When I clip coupons, I keep an envelope of the ones I’m fairly certain I’ll use on my next shopping trip. The rest go in my file folder to be used later on. Towards the end of the week, right before I go shopping I’ll go through both sets of coupons, make sure I’m using the ones I want before they expire, and for the items already on my list to buy. Then I peruse online for additional coupons for items that I want to buy. I found a few good ones at Coupons.com yesterday for items already on my list! Recently I’ve found a good website for my grocery store online where they list out all their sale items and specials for the week. This has become a great tool to adjust my meal planning for what is already on sale. From looking at this site, I decided to buy diapers and a few other items that I could probably wait to buy (since I have enough right now) but since they’re on sale AND I have coupons or them, they’re added to my list for the week.

This is how I grocery shop and plan my cooking for the week. How do you grocery shop? Do you have secrets that work for you? Leave a comment!

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