Part 3 of Once-A-Month Shopping ~
To get started with your grocery list, think about the various sections of a grocery store. You have dairy, fresh fruits & veggies, breads, etc. My grocery list is based off of this as well as how my pantry and cupboards are lined out. Come up with a way that works for you.
Here are my categories:
Fresh Fruits & Veggies
Download a FREE copy of my Master Grocery List!
Now, take a look at your meals. What items do you need to make those specific meals?
What items do you use on a regular basis that are not covered by what is needed for your meals? What is currently in your pantry? The way I started was by taking my friend’s list and then taking off what our family never uses that her family does and adding what I needed for my meal list. This is one case where cheating is allowed!
The Miscellaneous section is where I put things like trash bags, ziplock bags, laundry detergent, etc. I also have room here to jot down anything extra I may need that month that falls outside the norm like shoes for the children or a storage container or printer ink.
My list is full of items I do not buy every single month. I keep them on the list because we do need them often enough to justify allowing them to have a permanent place. This is where a Master List differs from a regular ole grocery list. I’ll demonstrate in a moment how this works.
But first, you need to consider 2 things:
1. How many of each item on your list do you go through in a month?
2. How many of each item do you wish to “have on hand?”
Here’s an example:
I like to have 2 boxes of spaghetti on hand. Very rarely do we go through a full 2 boxes, but it is good to have that option. Trash sacks are the same way. We don’t go through a full 2 boxes of trash sacks in a month’s time, but we will go through more than 1, so I need to have 2 on hand. Make sense?
Here’s how it will look on your list:
_____ Trash Sacks 2
_____ Spaghetti 2
The number following the item is how many you would like to have on hand.
The line in front of the item is for you to write in how many you need to buy in order to achieve this number.
If you don’t need any that month, don’t write anything on the line.
Once you have done this for all the items on your list and saved it to a word document or some such thing, you can now send your big kids a runnin’! Every month before shopping day, I send my oldest to inventory what is left. I know some people keep a running inventory posted beside each refrigerator/freezer, but I am just not this organized. I did try this once, but it was a disaster because inevitably someone took something out and forgot to mark that they took that particular item out. Pretty much defeats the purpose of an inventory check-list.
The easiest way I’ve found to do this particular step is to use my master grocery list and rattle off an item and ask him to find out how many we have of that item. Of course, if you do not have big kids or you are worried that your big kids won’t count correctly, then you are welcome to do this step yourself. I’ve just found it to be a wonderful asset to have a helper who can do this alongside me. We go through the entire list, pen in hand, and mark exactly how many of each item we need to be fully stocked. It is also at this point that I add all the little extra items I need to my list. I keep a running list of these random items on our dry erase board.
One thing I want to stress is that your list will be LONG.! My list is 4 pages!
But, this will not be the only thing that will make you an oddity in the grocery store…more on that in the next post entitled Shopping Day.
Download a FREE copy of my Master Grocery List and get started!