This post is part 1 of the series Taking Charge of Your Grocery Shopping. Check in here for the complete list of posts.
Meal Planning. Grocery Shopping. Coupons. Budgets. Do these things intimidate you?
They used to terrify me. My idea of grocery shopping was to wander at random through the store, grab anything that looked good, things I thought I *might* be out of, and pray that when I got home, I’d have enough to make a coherent meal. Usually I didn’t, and I wasn’t actually out of the things I thought. Also, I’d have forgotten two other things that I did need, so I’d have to go back to the store the next day.
Other times, 4:30 would roll around and I would have no idea what to feed my family. Or, we’d eat the same three meals over and over again. Sometimes I’d go to make something and be missing a key ingredient. This necessitated stopping everything, packing up the kids, going to the store, and losing an hour of my day.
After so many years of this, I got tired. I was tired of blowing my budget, of eating the same things, and of being at the grocery store EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was time-consuming, expensive, and just a general hassle.
I started to research. I read hundreds of articles (I kid you not) about how people grocery shopped and did their meal planning while sticking to a budget. Finally, I happened to stumble across the book Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half (at a garage sale, ironically). I grabbed it on a whim, paid a dollar for it, and came home to read.
Some of the ideas presented in this book were a little too extreme for my family, like doing a month’s worth of grocery shopping at a time, and shopping with two adults, two carts, and walkie-talkies. But the principles were sound and realistic, and I decided to put them into practice.
This was a few years (and two kids) ago now. My planning and shopping has evolved into a method that works well for my family, and one that I hope will help you, too.
This series is called Taking Charge of Your Grocery Shopping, even though it encompasses so much more than just grocery shopping. Stick with me, and I’ll show you how I meal plan, prepare my grocery lists, shop (with kids! Eek!), and prep for meals after shopping.
Tomorrow: You already know you want to take charge of your grocery shopping. That’s great! Step one is to know what you already have on hand. I’ll show you how I inventory my pantry, fridge, and freezers.
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