Even before the shelter-in-place (SIP) orders, most of us shopped for groceries a couple of times per week – even if to just pick up some bread. Back then, these frequent trips to the store actually increased our monthly spending because we usually bought more things than we intended to buy. But today, planning out our meals for 2 weeks and creating a good shopping list can decrease our exposure to coronavirus AND save us money.
I created a “Weekly Menu and Shopping List” to make it easy to plan out meals and shopping lists all at the same time (link below). This list is part of the Busy Woman’s Organizer that I wrote and Prentice Hall published back in 1997. Here’s how it works:
Step One: Plan your Meals
Enter in breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the entire week. Include your family favorites as well as new meals that you’ve always wanted to try. Check online to get recipes to spice up your menus.
Step Two: Check off your Ingredients
Using the Weekly Shopping List, enter each ingredient you need for every meal. I’ve made it easier for you by listing vegetables, fruit, meat, frozen foods, seasonings, packaged goods, canned goods, bottled goods, bakery, toiletries, kitchen supplies, pet supplies, and cleaning supplies.
So if you’re planning to make chicken tacos, you’d check off chicken breasts, taco seasoning, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and corn tortillas. Continue to do this for all of your meals.
Step Three: Check your Fridge and Pantry
To reduce waste, check to see what you might already have in your kitchen before heading out to the store. My husband loves to cross off items I put on the Shopping List when he finds them in the pantry…
Step Four: Order Online
By ordering online, you’ll save lots of money because you won’t be impulse buying as you walk around the store. They’ll deliver exactly what you ordered and nothing more.
Step Five: Shop at the Grocery Store
Now that SIP restrictions are easing up a bit, you can venture out to the grocery store to do your own shopping. Still, wear a mask and gloves – and don’t touch anything unless you plan to buy it. Careful not to touch your face.
You want to get in and out of the store quickly so stick to your list. You know where things are located so put them in your cart and then check them off your list. Don’t buy anything that’s not on the list and you’ll save money and time.
Step Six: Place your Weekly Menu and Shopping List on your fridge
With your Weekly Menu and Shopping List on your fridge, you can easily remember what you’re preparing for all meals during the week. Also place a new Weekly Menu and Shopping List on the fridge so you can start planning the next week’s meals and add to the shopping list as you run of staples like mayonnaise, butter, and milk.
With the SIP order here in Santa Cruz, CA, I plan menus for 2 weeks. The first week has more fresh salads and vegetables meals, and the second week has more lasagnas, chilis, stews, and soups that require less fresh veggies. I’ve save hundreds of dollars on food while I SIP.
Click here for the 1998 BWO Shopping List and Menu