Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grocery shopping for meals

Photo by KitLKat.

If only my grocery store really looked like this picture I might enjoy grocery shopping more! Don't you think the packaging is just beautiful. As it is, I honestly don't enjoy going to the supermarket. I'm always cold in the refrigerator isles, and I really am terrible at putting meals together in my head. However I also realise that being organised and prepared before doing the shopping will not only save time, but money too.

In many countries around the World it seems people are tightening their budgets, here in the UK everybody is talking about the 'credit crunch', so we are all too familiar with trying to spend less. A good place to start is food buying, it's just too easy to get carried away in a supermarket. We all know that if you go to the supermarket without a shopping list, you'll probably end up buying more than you need, but not enough for a week's worth of proper meals.

I came across some great ideas to help with planning meals. One of the resources I found is on the netmums.com website. They have a simple 4 week meal planner that you can print out. Now there's nothing special or unique about that, but I like some of their suggestions... here's what they say:

  • Each week includes only 5 planned meals, with weekends left free for going out for meals, or having a take away (I already like the sound of that!)

  • List 20 meals that you and your family enjoy.

  • Choose 5 meals per week from your list, balancing the week with variety (chicken one day, pasta another etc).

  • Add a matching side dish to each meal (potatoes, salad, greens)

  • Choose a desert or started for each meal - try and keep it healthy for the majority of meals

  • Then make your shopping list based on the ingredients of a week's worth of meals.

The other handy thing to use, is to have a 'master' shopping list. To have a master shopping list you need to do the following:

  • Look through your cupboards, fridge and freezer for things you buy regularly and write them down (including those things that you might have run out of already)

  • Categorise your list more or less as supermarkets have isles. So you would have a fruit section, condiments, cleaning products, laundry, pet supplies and so forth)

  • You can then divide your list into things you need weekly, and things you only need monthly.

  • Print off, or make copies of your list

  • Before you head off to the supermarket for your monthly or weekly shop, you can quickly skim the cupboards to see what's missing or running out, and highlight them on your list so that you know what to buy.

I like the idea of combining these two methods. Using the list of 20 meals to establish an ingredients list, and adding that to a master shopping list. I'm definitely going to give these methods a try.

Have you got a good way of planning your family's meals? Do share your tips with us!

While I'm on about shopping, I know every one's trying to be greener by using less plastic bags, so I thought I'd share some of these re-usable bag finds...

Left to right

Row 1: A bright and happy tote bag from Isew; The good old string bag - amazing what they can hold! This one is from the Guardian Eco Store; A candy stripe carry bag from Fair and Fabulous.

Row 2: A fold away lightweight shopper from reusablebags; Such a sweet toddler sized shopper, so go on let the kids help too, this one is made by Me a bee; a cleverly recycled shopper made from used sails by Branch.

Row 3: A stylish cotton canvas bag made by Mr.PS; These Cambodian Recycled Rice Bags come in these fabulous colours and are from Firebox.com; a market bag that's lightweight and comfortable to carry from Reusablebags.

Happy shopping!

4 comments:

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
I MISSED YOUR LOVELY POSTS AND COMMENTS...
IF YOU ARE STILL INTERESTED ON DOING THE CHANDELIERS POST, LET ME KNOW, AS I`M FINALLY READY.
DOES IT MATTER IF I ONLY SHOW THE CHANDELIERS AND THE TIPS THAT I`VE FOUND ON A MAGAZINE OF HOW TO LOOK AFTER THEM?
PLEASE DO LET ME KNOW!
HERE THE WEATHER IS JUST AS H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E!
I BET IT`S NICE IN SOUTH AFRICA THOUGH!
KISSES KISSES
DEBBIE
XXX

P.S - HOPE YOUR GORGEOUS DOG IS FEELING MUCH BETTER!

Blooming said...

Thanks for linking to me :) What a gorgeous collection of bags you have found.

I have a lot of linen & cotton blend fabrics just waiting to be made into totes and reusable bags.

I'll be adding you to my little list of favourite blogs, your preamble on the side menu has me captured ... there's a lot to be said for striving for perfection.

Jacqui from Mee a Bee

angeljoy said...

Thank you for stopping by my humble "net abode". Thank you for the writing encouragement. I enjoy doing it, but am a little hesitant because I don't really know what I'm doing! I wrote in an earlier post that I'd love to write a book, but I have a problem with a tiny little thing called a plot. :)Love that bright and happy tote from Isew! I'm a sucker for bright, happy colors. I agree with the supermarket shopping issues. I ALWAYS buy more than I really need. Being more chrunched than usual with money means I have to be extra careful. Not a bad thing really. You've given great ideas here!
Stop by again soon!

Josie said...

I just thought I'd say "hi". Reusable shopping bags, i've recently found a website called Morsbags where there is a downloadable pattern , so I've started making my own, take a look at my blog for some recent photos
Josie

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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