More Shopping from the List

Last weekend several trips were made to the grocery store. And by several, I mean at least 3. Despite this fact, on Monday I still had nothing to fix for dinner. There was all kinds of "stuff" in the cupboards and refrigerator, but nothing to make a complete meal.
groceries in transit
via Matt McGillivray Flickr Creative Commons

You see, since it was Mother's Day last Sunday, my husband did the grocery shopping and lots of the weekend cooking. Love him to death, and he's not one of those men that's lost in the grocery store calling me every 5 min to ask what brand of bread we usually buy, he just doesn't always plan ahead. Meal planning and list making aren't really his thing. I mean, let's face it, one super Type A personality is enough for most marriages.

Meal planning and (grocery) list making aren't really my thing either. In fact I HATE meal planning, and I'm always dreading the task of making a grocery list for some reason. But the only thing that I hate more than meal planning and list making, is going to the grocery store 4 times in 3 days. My parents, who live in the wilderness at least an hour away from a decent grocery store, are laughing at me right now and my suburban habits of convenience.

I'll talk about meal planning later on. Maybe as soon as I come up with a system better than sighing heavily as I ask everyone what they want for dinner this week, before ultimately flipping mindlessly through some magazines, cookbooks, and pinterest food boards only to settle upon the same 7 meals I always make.

BUT, even if I forget it at home half of the time, I can make a mean grocery list. And since I can't decide if this is something normal or not- I thought I'd share with you my secret to an uber organized shopping trip.

I make my grocery list organized by aisle.


Groceries
via Eddie Welker, Flickr Creative Commons

And when I shop I always park in almost the same spot, so I can enter the store through the same set of doors, and do my shopping in the same order. You see, if you park at the other end of the parking lot, you have to enter into the produce department first, and it just doesn't make sense to start your shopping there. I like to zig zag up and down the dry good aisles first, then finish up my trip w/ a perimeter lap to pick up produce, meats, dairy and frozen so that they are in the cart the least amount of time. Is this normal? I have no idea.

So- super shopper tip of the day: organize your list the same way you shop, then as you shop you can easily tick off the list. Also, if my meal plan is a little crazy and contains a new recipe with a new ingredient, I usually circle it or highlight it to try to remind me to snap out of my shopping routine and look for it.

I also write my meal plan at the top of the list so I can quickly glance down and do a mental check if I've forgotten anything required to make each dish.

It's not an exact science, and I still forget stuff, but my batting average is slightly better than my spouse's in this department. Anyone else have any super shopper tips, or funny hubby-went-shopping stories to share?

3 comments:

  1. Haha! That's so funny, we talked about this at my Weight Watcher meeting today - how we grocery shop and apparently I'm the weird one by doing the outer ring first then getting the dry goods! I also jot down the actual meals on my grocery list so I know what I'm going to do with the random item I put on my list. We end up with a lot of burrito supplies when I leave the hubs in charge of groceries. That and frozen pizzas and tuna sandwiches - all of which have their place.

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  2. Your dad and I are shopping together these days since it is 25-45 miles to the store (1/2 hour to 45 minutes, not an hour) When we first moved here, I did meal planning meticulously with detailed lists. Now the list is usually what we are low on or have run out of or if I need something special for a recipe. So, both list making AND seeing what looks good and is on sale AND some basic meals plans in mind. I also like my list organized in the order I shop, but I start with produce and meat, the staples of my meals, and hit the other aisles afterward for the rest of the meal components.

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  3. I always shop the perimiters first because my cart looks too full if I start in the aisles and I don't pick up enough of the healthy non process ed stuff afterwards. Also I note briefly the meal we have eaten on the calendar for inspiration next shopping trip. You would only have to do that for a month to have a good outline of 30 meals.

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