Monday, October 6, 2014

Shopping to Save Time, Money & Gas

     The majority of people I know will shop for the items they are low on either in the refrigerator or in the pantry. So, their list will look something like this:
milk, eggs, bread, soda, water, chips, butter, etc. This is all well and good, yet these items are not going to be enough for a dinner. The best way to make a shopping list is to first consider what you might want to eat for the week and then look at what you need, so you will have all the necessary ingredients. Then, you can look for those items you are low on either in fridge and/or pantry. 

     Deciding on daily meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will save you time, money and  gas, for you won't have to make daily visits to the grocery store. It will also eliminate the age old question, "What's for dinner?" 

     Make the decisions a family affair. Sit down on a weekend morning and put democracy to work. Give everyone a chance to voice at least one breakfast meal, one lunch, and one dinner. Consider what foods are healthy and which are not. Discuss variety, so you don't overeat on pasta or potatoes or meat dishes. Discuss the preparation time as well. Most parents work, so it is practical to decide on meals that will not take hours to prepare. Some meals can be prepared in the morning and cooked in a crock pot all day. Create variety for breakfast and lunch as well. Once all the meals have been decided, check out the ingredients you will need and begin the list.

     Grocery shopping will take between one to two hours, but it will be the only grocery shopping day! Everyone will know the menu and everyone will have had input. Here's an example of my grocery list.

Main Meals:
M - Eggs, toast, and bacon/ turkey sand. /Chicken soup
T -  Cereal & berries/ Tuna sand. /Salmon fillet
W - Waffles/ Chicken salad/ Chicken Cutlets
Th- Scrambled eggs w/ cheese and toast/ turkey sand./Ahi Tuna on salad
Fr - Cereal & banana/ left over soup/ Pizza
S   - Pancakes/ left over pizza/Out to dinner
S  -  Eggs, toast, home fries, and bacon/ left over chicken cutlets/ Pasta with Meat Sauce (this is great because you can have meatball heros the following Tuesday!).

Grocery List:
Chicken parts
Chicken stock
Salmon fillets
Chicken breast
Ahi Tuna
Pizza dough
Hunts tomato sauce
fruit - in season
Cream cheese
Rye toast
Peanut butter
Lunch meat
Canned tuna
Canned chicken or turkey
Sharp cheddar cheese

     As you will notice, I try to keep my list organized by meals and think of what will go well with the main item. We rarely buy desserts because we all like baking, and when we do, we check on what is needed for the dessert recipe we chose.

© Natala Orobello

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