My easy trick to stay organized will go a long way.
Have you ever gone to the store with valiant, honest intentions, only to leave with a random mishmash including a can of beans, three pounds of chicken, a package of cheese, and some chocolate milk?
We've all made the mistake of sailing away from charted territory, only to leave the store with an assortment of random impulse purchases.
Keep your grocery shopping easy and your meals organized in three easy peasy steps:
Before you go to the store, plan out a reasonable menu for the week. This will vary on your family size. Sit down with your family or plan it yourself, but either way, plan out what meals you want to make before you go.
Make your list.
Write down all the ingredients you need at the store. While you are at home, double-check to ensure you have the rest of the ingredients you need in your cabinets.
At the bottom of your list, write "Meals".
This is important. Don't skip this step! At the bottom of your list, write "Meals" and a complete list of meals you will have this week. Include leftovers you currently have in the fridge. (For example: Chinese food leftovers; roast, buttery rice, carrots, and rolls; chicken enchiladas with rice and beans; bacon, eggs, whole wheat toast)
Why it works so darn well
Listing your week's meals on your grocery list enables you to keep track of what you're getting.
From there, you can use up all your groceries and make the most of your money, food, and storage space. When you keep your shopping organized and streamlined, you can see what you're getting, how much you're getting, and what you'll have on hand for the week.
As you walk through the store, you might be tempted to buy something on impulse. Whatever you purchase, put it on your Meals list. If you're going to swap green beans for the yellow squash that looks beautiful and is on sale, make sure you update the change in your Meals section.
Doing that will make you see what all you have planned for the week, and it will be harder to go overboard.
Bonus: When it comes time to eat dinner during the week, you'll have a quick list of options to share with your family (or you get to choose what you feel like cooking off the list that night).
As you practice implementing this method into your routine, it will get easier. You'll be amazed what a breeze grocery shopping can be.
Armed with this simple and streamlined process, go out and make your grocery shopping easier this week!