Planning and Grocery Shopping for Two Weeks at a Time
Some ladies grocery shop for a weeks worth of meals at one time, some may shop for two weeks and some a whole month at a time. I have often thought of women out on the prairie getting their needed supplies for the winter or for several months at a time. That would seem like quite a challenge to take on!
I have done all of the above methods (other than shopping for my whole winter ~smile~) but had fallen into this comfortable easy mode of shopping weekly. I say comfortable, because it never seemed that big of a deal if I forgot something, after all I would be back at the store next week.
As I watched the gas prices start to climb and climb and climb I decided that going to town (which is 45 minutes away) could no longer be a weekly event. Not to mention that living so far from town means when I do go, it is an all day affair. So that would mean less time away from home and that is a helpful when you have a large family to maintain, a home to keep moving along and all the other demands that come with a life style like mine.
I decided that for now menu planning and grocery shopping for 2 weeks at a time would be my first step. So I sat down with my favorite recipes, cookbooks, lists of meal ideas and a blank calendar to fill in with meals for the days.
I kept in mind any days that were busy and would need simple meals or crockpot meals, I kept in mind my husbands days off so I could have the luxury of an easy or favorite family meal for those days. You know things like Pizza Night or Sandwich Night.
Then I filled in my calendar. I planned the whole meal so that I could make sure I had everything needed on hand. I even planned any baking I wanted to do during those two weeks.
I also wrote down lunch items. I didnít plan lunches but rather just kept a list of lunch items to make. As usual we first check to see if there are any leftovers from the previous nights dinner and if not, then we move to the list.
Breakfast time at our house is simple too; oatmeal, granola, scrambled eggs, homemade pancakes. I donít plan these meals either. I donít buy cereal or other expensive breakfast items. I try and keep breakfast simple and healthy.
After writing everything out it was then time to make the grocery list. I started with the first meal and wrote down everything that I needed to buy to make the meal. I then went to the next meal and the next doing this. If I needed hamburger for more than one meal I put a check mark by ďHamburgerĒ.. 3 check marks means 3lbs., 4 check marks means 4bls. and so on.
Then I split up the list according to the different stores I shop at. My two most frequented stores are Costco and Winco. I also purchase whole foods and bulk items from Azure Standard monthly. I wrote under each store the needed items from my master list that I purchase there.
Then I checked my pantry for basic supplies and asked myself do I need any spices, salt, oil, or other baking items? I donít want to run out of something simple like baking powder or cinnamon when baking time comes around.
With my nicely complete list I was then ready to go shopping. I have continued on with this process and find that the more I do it the easier it becomes.
Before I leave for any big shopping trip I get the kitchen cleaned up, clean out the fridge to make room for the items I will be bringing home and I plan something very easy for that nightís dinner. Either something I can make quickly when I get home, or I get out my trusty crock pot and start my meal before I leave.
If your shopping day will be long, donít forget to wear comfortable shoes, keep your lists in order and you will have a productive shopping trip.
When you get home and unload your groceries you will have the satisfaction of knowing your home is well supplied and you are ready for each night to come for the next 2 weeks. That alone is a great feeling and one that will motivate you to do it again; of course the high gas prices have been extremely motivating to me as well!
My next goal may be to shop for a whole month. I have a lot more planning to do on that one! But I will make updates on my progress and share anything I learn along the way if I do get to that point!
Would you like a printable calendar for writing down your menus?
Calendars can be found here
In The Kitchen