Good morning, lovely readers! I am so pleased to introduce the amazing Deva to you. She is one incredible lady, and a list-maker! (I live and die by lists every day. A girl after my own heart, truly.) You've heard me talk about grocery store shopping, meal planning and saving money while being healthy. Deva is walking, talking proof of the benefits of lists! And guess what, she is so awesome to share her methods here with you. Behold.... this is the mother of all grocery lists.
Hi Leaving Fatville Readers! My name is Deva, and I blog about balancing fitness, food, and fun at Voracious Vorilee. I am SUPER excited to be blogging here today, and am writing about one of my favorite things: the grocery list.
I am a list-maker. I love my lists. I make lists of what I need to do on any given day. When traveling, I write packing lists, that include everything down to the tiniest items, like socks or chap stick. My favorite lists, however? My grocery lists. Why? Well, they help me streamline the shopping, cooking, and eating process, and well, anything that makes it easier for me to make and eat? Is awesome in my book.
But, how does list-writing and menu-planning streamline my cooking process - it sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? To be honest, it was only a lot of work when we were first stocking our kitchen and getting an idea of what staples we actually used, and which ones we didn't. It's actually a pretty simple process. Because I have been doing it for so long, it's become hard for me to explain, but I'll try.
Then, I start my list with the items we buy every week. These foodstuffs don't change, and yes, we do buy them each week. I list them so that I don't forget them, because the grocery store is BIG! and SHINY! and did I mention BIG and SHINY?
Once I've written out those four or five items, I start planning my menu by considering what we ate this past week and the week before and what we have on hand, like pasta and frozen meat. I also take a look at my grocery store's circular on their website to see what is on sale this week. If we're stuck in a rut, there's some random recipe choosing that may be done by opening a cookbook to a random page and making whatever it is. This works as long as that page isn't a salad or a dessert. I don't do dessert for dinner.
Just a side note: the days listed each have a meal listed next to them, but that is not the order in which those meals will be eaten. I list the days with the meals to ensure that I have enough meal options to get us from grocery day to grocery day without needing to return to the store.
My menu planned out, it's time to start filling in my list with ingredients I don't have so that I can make things like chicken with mustard-cream sauce, sloppy joes, and potato soup. I try to write my list so that it follows my grocery store's layout (which yes, I do have memorized. I am strange, I won't deny it!). This doesn't always happen, and that's okay!
Once all the mealtime ingredients have been written down, taking into consideration what we already have, I add any items we need that aren't going to be part of dinner, such as lunch meat and any staples (like butter), that we may have run out of. The completed list ends up looking something like this:
Voila: grocery list AND menu in one! I hold onto the list for reference throughout the week. It definitely helps when I am staring at a package of ground beef, wondering just why I picked that up - I can take a look and see that I had planned to use it in sloppy joe, and get to cooking!
So, Leaving Fatville readers, do you menu plan? Use a grocery list? Why or why not?