Menus, Grocery Shopping and that wonderful12:05 PM
feeling of seeing your cupboards and refrigerator packed.
After dropping the kids off at school, I came back home, had a cup of coffee and then grabbed the Grocery List and headed to the Commissary. I like going right as the doors open, it's quiet, it's practically empty and I can do my shopping in a peaceful and calm way. Now rushing, no crowded aisles and "Excuse me, can I get by" and no long queues waiting to pay.
Some of you had asked me before how I make my grocery list....well like I have said many times, being military we get paid on the 1st and the 15th of each month. I don't do weekly shopping trips, they don't work for us and I find that I spend way too much money by going in every week. So the day before payday, I sit down with my cookbooks, my family recipes AND the internet, and I plan a Menu for two weeks.
From that Menu I write up the grocery list and then I walk around the house and look through the bathroom, pantry, kitchen shelves and refrigerator etc....and fill in anything that is missing or needing to buy.
When I write up the grocery list, I also keep it by section....Frozen, Dairy, Meat/Poultry, Canned goods, Paper and Plastic, Cleaning supplies etc. It helps that I can remember pretty much all the aisles of our commissary and what is where, it's like drawing up a map as I write the list, I know where I'm going, and I know what is there and I can write the grocery list as if I'm actually walking the aisles. It helps, it really helps to have it all separated into the write category.
But I was never this organized, I remember my first year of marriage. I already did Menu Planning having learned from my Stepmom as we grew up, it was just the way things were always done at home. But when it came to grocery shopping, I didn't have a set way of doing it, I just jotted down a bunch of things on paper and headed out and I quickly realized that it wasn't working. I kept missing things and forgetting others and it was frustrating. So yeah, knowing what I'm getting and keeping things separated even on paper, saves you time and money.
How do you do your meal planning and grocery shopping? I would love to hear.
When I get home from the store, I just want to run away because this sight is enough to overwhelm me
But I plow through it, because it has to be done. I guess it's one of the house chores that I really dislike LOL I love going shopping but it's the packing away that I don't like LOL
I take this time to get rid of anything in the refrigerator that has expired and to clean the shelves and doors. I do a quick wipe during the week if something gets spilled but grocery day is when I really get in there and clean it up good. It just feels better knowing that I'm putting fresh food into a clean space.
Is that how you do it too?
And here's a question for you? Do you buy according to brand name or price? Are there certain items you refuse to buy cheap or those that you just have to have that certain brand and nothing else?
Because I have learned to shop for what is affordable, I have no problem using store brand items, but I do admit that some products can't be replaced with a cheaper version, in the long run you end up paying more and not getting the results you wish.
So here's a few of mine, I would love to know what yours are:
Toilet Paper - Cottonelle (I have tried many brands but this one I love, it's soft, it's thick and it lasts a long time)
Laundry Detergent - Here I admit I go for whatever is on sale or cheaper, I just can't bring myself to pay over $10 for a small bottle of any kind. Today I bought the Ultra Downy 120 loads, Ocean Breeze. It smells really good and it was only $7 which is not bad.
Laundry Softener - Snuggle Creme Jojoba Essence (smells SO good and pretty inexpensive too)
Dishwasher Detergent - Usually Cascade but today I picked up Palmolive Eco with Lavender Splash. It wasn't expensive and I love anything lavender, so we'll see how this works.
Everything else is just on a "buy as I see fit" basis. I don't have set brands for anything but if I do buy something and I really like it, I try to stick with that unless the prices rise dramatically, then I'm on the look out for a cheaper brand.
And because I have no problem talking about budgets and such stuff.....this is how much I spent for the next two weeks. Now remember this includes everything, all the food, toiletries and cleaning supplies, snacks etc. $260
I'm sure there are some out there doing much better than me, but for a family of four, I've found out that this works perfectly.
So now that we've talked groceries, menus and brand names, I need to get cleaning on my house, it's not too bad, but there are two areas that need my attention today.
Why is it that the kitchen counters become the catch-all for everything in the house? I have found the weirdest things on my counters, from toys to movies, to games to pens and pencils to a sock....one of Nicholas socks???? I mean WHY? LOL
But yeah, I need to file all that correspondence and I need to go through my basket and file and throw out whatever needs to be done.
My breakfast and lunch dishes are piled in the sink, those include leftover tupperware that has been emptied from the refrigerator cleaning.
And then when I'm done with this stuff, it's dinner and homework and baths and books and bedtime routines. I could scream at this point, but what for? It actually makes me smile :)