My Grocery List Process

One of my blogging topics is to let my readers know more about me, so I decided to let you know about my almost 2 hour long grocery list process I go through every week.

On Tuesdays, I go through the store circulars I've received in the mail and from the Sunday paper. I look through ads for CVS, Vons, Sprouts, Ralphs and Albertsons. If there are any sales on things I would purchase, as long as they're at a really low price(I spent a few months charting prices at those stores and Walmart, so I know when products are at their lowest price and are worth purchasing), I write them down on my list. I use a piece of of scratch paper and separate my list by store. Sometimes there's great sales at all of the stores and sometimes only at one or two.

On Thursday, I spend the most time getting my grocery list ready. I take out my file of recipes and my cookbooks. The green file box is recipes we've tried before and liked. The gray file box is recipes I found from magazines or the internet that I think my family and I will like, but we haven't tried yet. I've previously gone through the 2 Taste of Home Healthy Cookbooks, and written down the names of recipes and the page number they're on, of things I think we would like. The first thing I do is pick the main dinner dishes for the week. I choose the meat based on the meat I used last week. For example, if I used chicken and beef last week, this week I'll use turkey and pork. Every Sunday we always have fish - salmon or tilapia - so that's easy to pick. Next, I pick the vegetables based on store sales and what we had last week. Then, I see what breakfast items I need to make for the week(muffins, pancakes, waffles or cinnamon rolls), snacks, and desserts.

I write all of that here on these items. The small paper is a list of whatever dessert item I'm making next. The whiteboard is where I record everything I'm making for the week. The list(Easter themed for April, even though this year Easter was in March), is where I write down everything I'll buy at Walmart.

As you can see, I get as much use out of my paper list as I can. I just cross off whatever dessert I've made and then I know the next one on the list is what I'll make the next time. The whiteboard is a huge organization help for me. It is listed by day, Monday - Sunday. I write what dinner meals I'm making in red, and then the other things I'm making in black. I look at it every day to see what meat I need to take out for the next meal, or to see what I need to make that day.

So, after all of that is written down, I sit down at the kitchen table with all my recipes and the grocery list. I print out a weekly grocery checklist from the computer. My daughter came up with that wonderful idea! It's a list of items that we use every week, and things I need to look at weekly to see if they need replacing. This list saves me time and also saves me from forgetting to purchase something at the store. After that, I look through the recipes and my cupboards to see what I already have and what I need to buy. If it's not one of the sales items I already have written down, then I add it to my Walmart list. When I'm done with that, I cut out the coupons from the Sunday paper and if I've printed any from the internet. Then I go through those and all the other coupons in my coupon file and see if there's any I can use that week. I paper clip the coupons, along with the corresponding store list, to the store circular, so I'm all ready to shop. I put it all upstairs on my desk for grocery shopping on Saturday.

Now you can see why it takes me 2 hours! It's the best way I know to keep organized and to save as much money grocery shopping as I can.

Do you have any tips on the grocery list process? How long does it take you to make your meal plans and grocery list each week?