Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March - Week 1 Meals and Grocery List

This morning I was reminded why I like to go grocery shopping by myself. *sigh*  I know J wants to help, but I like to read labels.  Usually, I go while he is at school.  Yesterday, however, a migraine kept me from moving, so we made a trip to the store together this morning.  It was definitely an adventure.

I'm going to try putting up recipes and grocery lists to go with the meal plans.  I know there a lot of ways to do grocery shopping.  I read an article yesterday about a lady who claims to spend only $200 a month on groceries.  That sounds great, but I don't shop that way.  First, I try not to buy a lot of processed foods.  I also shop organic and from the health market sections a lot, which increases my bill.  But, the biggest thing for me is I just don't coupon or stock-pile.  If you do, great.  I just don't find it worth my time.  I do look for printable coupons and use what I find, but I don't shop based on the coupons.  I clip coupons based on what I need.  For example, today I used a whole 1 coupon.  Yep.  That's it.  For $1 off Splenda, which was on my list anyway.  So, you can probably save a lot of money on groceries if you use my plans and list, but add in coupons.

Since this is my first post on grocery lists, I'll tell you how I put my list together each week.

Step 1: Decide When to Go
That sounds pretty easy, and not all that important, right?  Well, actually, it's a very important step.  I usually try to go to the store on Tuesday mornings while J is in preschool.  So I shop for Wednesday evening through the following Wednesday lunch.  Why Wednesday and not Tuesday?  Well, what if someone is sick (like what happened to me this week)?  Or if it storms?  That way I can be a day off, and not be completely out of luck.

Step 2: Meal Plan
This is where I spend most of my time.  I talked about how I do my meal planning for dinners here.  You can get my complete month of dinners for March here.  For grocery planning, though, I only need this week.  So, here is this week's dinners:

Breakfasts.  I usually pick out a few things that sound good, but don't assign them a day.  Muffins, scones, etc. I will freeze and have around for other days. This week, I planned:

Lunches.  I plan Saturday lunch, we eat out Sunday lunch after church, and then I choose weekday lunches without assigning a day.

Step 3: Make List of ALL Ingredients
That's right.  I list ALL of the ingredients for ALL of the meals I'm going to make.  That way I can go through the list and check off the things I have and I don't miss anything.  For this week, you can find the list here.

Step 4: What do you Have?
Go through the fridge, pantry, freezer.  Cross off anything on the list you already have.   For me, this usually takes off about 1/2 of the list.  This week, unfortunately, I needed a bunch of staples.

Step 5: Coupons
If you do use coupons, this is where you would do that step.  I also take the time to go through the ads for our local grocery store.  One of the great things about our story is their Fuel Saver card.  If you have a HyVee store, definitely look into it.  I look through the Fuel Saver ad each week and see if anything I need (or use, but don't necessarily need this week) I add it to the list.  Most of the time, I end up with about 30-50 cents/gallon off my next tank.

Step 6: SHOP!
So, go ahead and take the recipe list in step 3, do your shopping and have a great week!

(Moving On...Week 2 can be found here.)