Tuesday, April 2, 2013

.meal planning - shopping, part 3.

Lydia on her night to shop with daddy

Today I want to focus on how we handle our shopping.  With my meals neatly (and OCD like) laid out shopping is super easy.  We typically go once a week on Monday nights for everything we need for the following weeks meals.  With that in mind we get the food we need for Tuesday through the following Monday.  Since I usually have a couple freezer meals in the week that are already made up, we only need to get 2-3 meals worth of food plus our staples for the week; milk, bread, fruit & cereal.  

For all our regular trips we have one of the kids go with us as a sort-of get away and special time.  They get to feel special by going alone.  They also get to pick out the snack and fruit of the week as a bonus.  Last night Lydia got to go with Aaron and she looked forward to it all day.  She was so excited that she got dressed up for her shopping date with daddy! 

For the freezer meal shopping trips, I go by myself.  These are the big trips which require more time so I shop alone.  The nice thing about these trips is that the shopping lists are already made out for you!  I take my shopping list out of the binder I keep it in and then put it in a plastic protector this way I can check off the items with a whiteboard marker and then reuse the list another time. Everything is categorized on the shopping lists which add extra ease to the trips.  

How I used to plan and shop for our food..... 
I still use this method if I already have the card.

I used to shop with my meals in my binder all lined up for the week.  I had placed each meal on a baseball sized card and put them in baseball card sleeves.  The meals were listed on one side with the cook book and page number and the ingredients were on the back.  This way I could move meals around each week for planing.  I also could see the ingredients on the back for shopping; then as I shopped I would cross them off with a white board marker.  This saved me time from writing down a list every week as I could reuse the cards.  I have not done this as much lately because we have had a lot more variety, but it works well for meals we use more frequently.  If you usually stick to the same meal plan I would highly recommend doing this to save you from having to write a list each week.  It did take a little set up, but it was awesome to not have to write down everything all the time.

the ingredients side of the baseball card binder method

So that is how we shop for food around here.  Nothing too fancy, just super organized.  The number one thing to remember while bringing a list in a page protector is the whiteboard marker.  I may have had to buy those a time or two as I forgot mine at home.

I want to remind you all to sign up for our Wildtree Party.  If you don't live in the area you can always shop online and the proceeds will go to the adoption (contact me if your having trouble).  Thank you friends!

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