Friday, October 9, 2009

The Grocery Game


You would think that after 25 years of marriage and 20 years of having kids, I would have grocery shopping down to a science. But, I don't.

I don't get it either.

I'm forever looking for new ways to plan my menus and organize my shopping. That's basically all there is to it, plan and shop. It sounds so simple. It probably is for most people.

In the past, I've tried a number of different methods. I've tried making menus for a week or two at a time, with a specific meal for each night, and then I shop from that list. It's a nice idea, except that our schedules get so crazy around here, especially during baseball and soccer season, that there are often nights that don't go according to my menu plan. So another method I've tried is to buy meat, poultry, and fish for so many meals, and then having a larder full of pastas, potatoes, canned veggies, fruit, for the side dishes. This way I would plan from one day to the next and each morning take out of the freezer what we would have for supper that night.

This week I've decided to try something new. I bought a new cookbook (the solution is always in a new cookbook, don't you agree?) called Once-a-Month-Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. I got it at Costco for $8.99. I'm easing into it by doing their Two-Week Entree Plan. It should actually get me through three weeks because we generally have pizza once a week and I have a few things left in the freezer that I'm working into the plan.

The whole idea is to plan it out and take it a step at a time. Do your grocery shopping one day and then do the cooking the next. Have your kitchen all cleaned up with just the items that you need for cooking out on the counters and the storage containers for freezing. And -- I love this -- plan to eat out on cooking day!

Today I did my grocery shopping, armed with my list that I photocopied from the book. I checked off the items that I already have in the pantry. I had to add things for side dishes. They have suggestions for side dishes in the book, but they don't include them in the shopping list.

There are two dishes that might not appeal to my picky eater. I'm making them anyway. I know the rest of the family will enjoy trying something new. Also, I wish I had thought to plan my cooking day for the day or two before garbage day. I realized as I was unpacking groceries that I'm going to have lots of chicken and meat wrappers to put in the trash tomorrow and they'll have to sit all week. Something to think of for next time.

I'll let you know how it goes!

5 comments:

Country Dreaming said...

Karen--

I'm with you, WHY is it sooooo
hard to go grocery shopping?
I know for us that we don't have enough freezer space for a lot of frozen things, so I don't freeze things,sometimes the shopping goes out the window because of unexpected things that come up an I could come up with a bunch more excuses.
I used to be really good about making a menu for the week and then we would go to the store BUT again that plan went out the window.
I wish you good luck with this and
look forward to hearing how this goes.
Enjoy your weekend.

Melinda

Trailboss said...

Over the years I seem to have developed an ability to know just what we have frozen, fresh and pantry items. I wish I had more time during the day to cook. I am making a chicken dish tonight that I saw Paula Deen make this morning. It looked good and really easy.

RIZZI said...

HI KAREN,
I LIKE THAT IDEA, I'LL HAVE TO TELL JACKIE, SHE DOES ALL THE COOKING. I REALLY DON'T MIND, I DO COOK SOMETIMES. JACKIE HAS A BUSY SCHEDULE, SHE TAKES THE GIRLS TO DANCE TWICE A WEEK, THEN THE TWINS GO TO BROWNIES, AND SHE TAKES CARE OF JENNY BETWEEN 6:00 O'CLOCK AND 11:00 O'CLOCK EVERY NIGHT. I'LL HAVE TO TELL HER YOUR NEW IDEA. HOPE IT WORKS FOR YOU, AND YOU GOT A GOOD PRICE ON THAT COOK BOOK TOO. TAKE CARE.
LOVE, AUNT RIZ

Susanne said...

I've heard about once a month cooking. It always seemed so daunting to me. I'll have to get this book and take a look.

Kat said...

HI Karen I shop once a month too, and posted about it in my post before this last one, I did today. It works out great for us. I hate going to the grocery store and it saves us so much money. This you will love. Have a great week!