Monday, June 6, 2011

From The Recipe: Making A List

   Sometimes when I go to the supermarket, I walk out wondering where that extra $20 went. I didn't really need 4 bottles of orange and lime juice, but they were next to the apple juice and they were on special for a $1 off. So I only wasted $6, not $7...

I am a pretty conservative shopper by conventional standards, but I have found that even I have difficulty ensuring that I only walk out with what I intended. Being a working wife, I find that I have a haphazard approach to shopping. I only get groceries when I have to, or when I have a large block of time. But this means that I often don't have on hand everything I need to make an entire meal.  So I get creative and that's where I fall down. 

Enter the Shopping List

The shopping list can save you money. IF YOU STICK TO IT!  There is no point having a shopping list that you see as a basis for buying other things. That's how you will come unstuck. 

There are some awesome resources for menu planning and shopping lists. 

I bought myself an A5 folder and printed out a bunch of free menu planning and shopping list printables. You can find some of my favourites below.

For this week, I sat down and picked the recipes I wanted to cook. I wrote out a list of the ingredients I didn't already have at home. If one recipe called for mushrooms and another recipe also needed mushrooms I would just write (times 2) next to the item on the list so I knew to buy more. I'm sure you could get technical with quantities, but its only early days for me! 

Then I organised my list. I shop at two different supermarkets. Aldi because the staples there are cheap, and the big supermarket down the road for the 'other stuff'. The simple way to do this is to go to Aldi first and cross off what you can get there as you go, and get the other stuff afterwards. But if the idea of that does your head in, then stick with the one supermarket. You pay for convenience these days! 

To make the Aldi portion even easier, you could use their phone app to plan, or their online shopping tool to pre-prepare your list. 

Once you are at the supermarket - STICK TO YOUR GUNS! I find it helpful to organise my list in sections in the order I will walk through them at the local supermarket. That way I feel like I'm buying things in order and don't get side tracked. What ever works for you!

The goal is to use up what you have, to focus on only buying what you need and to make a system that works for you. For me, the extra 30 minutes planning (even less as time goes on) is well worth the $20 saving each week

For more info on menu planning: 

Organizing junkie has great info and a weekly link up
Info on menu planning and batch cooking from
Free printable pages for menu planning and shopping lists - Organised
More Free Pages from The Household Planner
If you want to get serious, pay for a membership here - I had one for 6 months and it was great -

Disclaimer: This is an unsponsored review and link up, I do not have any affiliations with any of the above companies or pages.

1 comment:

  1. For many years, (I am a lot older than you), I have planned and shopped with a list . . . and still I am not good at "sticking to my guns." I figure, it still saves me lots of money :).