Okay, I made these last week before my death defying trip to the grocery store in the Great Blizzard of 2008, but what with the near death experience and all, the leaking roof, the subsequent discovery of and exhaustive online research into the Evil Ice Dam, sewing all those damn (damn cute, that is) cloth napkins, and totally changing my look, this post just kept getting put off until...today!
Fact A: Weekly meal planning saves me time and money at the grocery store. Also, my husband gets dinner ready on my 3 work days and a list of the week's meals keeps him from calling me at work and asking what he's supposed to do for dinner.
Problem A: I seem to always lose the meal plan sometime in the middle of the week--right around when I return to work and my husband needs it, thus negating much of the benefit of creating a meal plan in the first place since neither of has any short term memory left.
Fact B: Grocery shopping once a week with a comprehensive list saves me time and money at the grocery store. We live out in the middle of the country and the store is a long drive and closed on Sundays so forgotten items are a royal pain in the ass--not to mention dangerous in certain weather conditions mentioned above.
Problem B: I'm always rushing around the kitchen on my shopping day trying to make the meal plan and the grocery list so I can get to the store and I invariably forget to put certain things on this list.
Solution AB: I just spent a small amount of time on the computer making 2 blank, very simple, list templates. I hope they will bring me more joy than I have ever known before and serve as a catalyst for world peace.
The first template is a Weekly Meal Planner (pdf) that begins on Monday when do my grocery shopping for the next 7 days. We usually cook early in the week and leave leftovers and meals or meats out of the freezer for later in the week. I used some colored paper I had so it will be bright and hard to lose. I printed 3 lists to a horizontal page and cut them out.
The second template is a Weekly Grocery List (pdf). I went through the fridge, freezer and pantry and put everything on the list that we buy weekly or every other week. The staples, if you will. I put it in order of the grocery store layout--produce, then meats, then bread, cheese, organics, dairy, dry, frozen, etc. I also included lots of blank lines where I felt like I'd need them the most for things that go on the list less often. I don't buy many cleaning and paper products so those will just get added onto the back or in the margins when I need them. I printed 2 lists to a horizontal page and cut them out.
Then I punched a hole in the top Left corner of both sets of lists and put them all together on piece of ribbon. I wanted to put them on a metal ring but I tore the house apart and couldn't find one. The lists will hang on the side of my fridge.
Mine are pretty work-a-day but if you wanted to go The Full Martha you could use fancy recycled paper, clip art, or rubber stamps to dress them up.
Here are my new lists...
Now my Weekly Meal Planner has a place to live and won't get lost. And the bulk of my Weekly Grocery List is already finished. I add to it throughout the week when I run out of something.
On Sunday night I Meal Plan, then I look it my Grocery List, cross off the things I don't need and add a few extra items based on the meal plan.
I'm not usually quite this
anal efficient but I really wanted to solve my scramble.
Maybe it'll come in handy for you, too. And if you like the idea and want to save yourself the time it took me to create them, just email me. I'd be happy to send you the Word Documents I created and you can modify them to fit your own needs.
2011 UPDATE: Been using this system for over 3 years now and it has been NO FAIL for me. I have added one element: On the back of my Grocery List I printed a Health Food Store Grocery List and a place to list Other Errands. The way our eating habits and schedule have changed over the years has me going to 2 stores now and running my miscellaneous errands all on Monday. So this list is where I store all that info throughout the week so I have a plan on my big day in town.
If you liked this post.