I love organization. I love order. I love simplicity. This year I decided I needed to be more organized with our meals and eliminate eating out because I didn't know what to cook or didn't have what I needed to make a certain meal. I was constantly making trips to the store. And I hate grocery shopping. When we lived in Darwin, our local grocery store would deliver for free so long as your order was over a certain amount, so I did a monthly menu then and ordered groceries for the month. This way I only had to make one or two trips to the store every month for fresh fruit and veggies. It was so nice having a months worth of groceries delivered right to my door. I got to know the delivery guy and he often brought them right into my kitchen for me.
We live in a much smaller town now, and although they do offer to shop for you, you still have to go and pick it up. So, I figure I might as well do the shopping. This year I started making meal plans for each week (instead of month) and a grocery list to go with it.
I was just writing out a menu plan on a sheet of paper, and then making a grocery list to go with it, then sticking the menu on my fridge. Recently I stumbled upon a great blog called Raising Clovers. Kristi is a homeschooling mom to 5 children. I highly recommend you visit her blog. Her joy is contagious. She created a weekly menu plan and grocery list printable and it's free if you subscribe to her blog.
I will share how I use this great printable. On Friday or early Saturday morning, I write out my menu for the week. You can see in this photo that I make a lunch menu and dinner menu. I also write out our schedule for the week. This helps me to plan our dinners. For example, on Wednesday nights we do kid's club, and almost always go to McDonalds afterwards with our friends who help us. As I am writing out the meals, I write out items on the grocery list side. I also try to write out the items according to the layout of our grocery store, this helps me to not backtrack in the store. Did I mention I hate grocery shopping? We only have one grocery store in our town, so I don't need to compare prices and hit different stores.
I keep the menu side of the printable for a few weeks this way I can see what meals I have cooked so I don't make the same thing every week. Here is a photo of the past two weeks of meals. This is also what the old printable looked like. Kristi has recently given it a makeover (above photo) and made it prettier! I do try to make a new recipe every week, but this doesn't always happen. You'll see we had Stuffed Pepper Soup two Saturdays in a row, that was a new recipe that I tried and my family loved. They requested to have it again the next week.
Once I have finished the menu and grocery list, I just cut the paper in half. I take the grocery list with me to the store (sometimes I jot down the dinner meals on the back of the grocery list in case I forget what I might need a certain ingredient for).
Then I put the weekly menu on the side of our fridge. My family likes knowing what we're having for dinner. I may mix it up and not make a certain meal on that particular day, but this is the basic menu for the week.
So, I'm curious, do you have a weekly menu, a monthly menu, do you love grocery shopping, how do you organize your grocery list? Please share!!