5 Days of Meal Planning and Menu Organization – Day 3: Shopping!!!

Welcome to Day three! So far we have created a “Master Command Center” and worked out the when to cook on Day One. Next, we planned the “Menu” and decided what to cook in Day Two‘s post. Today we are going shopping!

The best way to waste money is on multiple grocery shopping trips. My goal is to only visit the local market once per week to avoid spending extra money on un-needed things just because I’m there.  But this doesn’t always happen. It seems like I have permanent “Mommy Brain”  and am always forgetting things I need. That is why I created this Shopping List, which you can download and use for free by clicking the picture below. I created it by doing a mental walk-through of our local market in the pattern I usually take (starting in pharmacy and ending in the produce section before checking out).
I printed off several copies, placed them on a clipboard and hung it up with the other “Master Command Center” items from days 1 & 2. This allows me to easily access it to add items during the week that we may run out of. It also allows family members to add items that they may need for the upcoming week. 
After you have completed your menu you can survey your pantry (stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on arranging your pantry and fridge) and add any missing ingredients you may need to purchase for your weekly meals. Be sure to also add any other paper products, hygiene items or special purchases.
Once you have your list made it is time to shop! Here are some tips to help you battle the budget crunch…
  • Make a special note on your shopping list of any coupon items you are going to purchase.
  • Only clip and keep the coupons of products that you buy. Don’t be tempted to buy something just because it has a coupon if it isn’t something you need or use.
  •  Stick to your pattern and items on the list. The more aisles you travel down the more temptation there is to grab extra items, causing you to spend extra money.
  • Compare prices and watch for sales tags. I usually buy store brand but occasionally there will be a sale on a different brand that beats the price.
  • Buy in bulk! Items that you frequently purchase like dog food, paper products, baking goods, cereals, etc… Buy higher quantity at a time and you save in the long run.
  • Don’t take your kids (or sometimes even your husband haha)!!!!! The more people that you take the fuller your cart becomes of impulse purchases like “I’ll buy you a candy bar/toy if your good!”
  • Go Shopping when you’re NOT hungry! If your stomach is hungry your brain will tell you you NEED to buy extra!
  • Finally, keep your eyes on the cashier. Sometimes over ring-ups happen, and if you catch it before you pay, you won’t have to stand in the customer service line to fix it or be tempted to just cut your losses.

I hope this information helps you battle the shopping war! Tomorrow we will talk about what to do with all your purchases to keep them organized so you can easily and quickly whip up your culinary creations!

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I am excited to be part of this 5 day series with a group of great bloggers! This week you can read about organizing things from your kitchen, homschool room, fitness routine and much much more. Make sure to click over to the main landing page and check out all the different topics and post. Also register below for the $35 paypal gift certificate. Visit the other bloggers for more giveaways!

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