Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Well Crafted Grocery List

Please welcome to the blog E.F. Cussins who describes himself as "son of a factory worker who loves technology and saving money." His guest post is about a well crafted grocery list and I have to admit I didn't expect it. But I'm intrigued. Go on read it you know you want to.

Have you ever experienced looking in the refrigerator, in the cupboard, and in the pantry, then say to yourself "There is nothing in the house to eat"? Has the very same thing ever happen the day after doing the weekly grocery shopping? If is has then you are not alone. Finishing the weekly grocery shopping, then not find anything in the kitchen that was appetizing is a sign of bad shopping. 

The refrigerator is full. The kitchen pantry is full. Still the mind and taste buds go blank as to what to fix for dinner. At this point so families jump into the family car and heads to the local McDonald's. So instead of spending $1 or $2 per person on that dinner, now it costs $5 or more per person.
I understand everyone likes to go out to dinner. There are times where I even get a craving for a big greasy hamburger that is made from the local hamburger joint down the street. What I am writing about is putting together a menu plan and grocery list makes the family want to eat at home.

Putting together a well crafted grocery list does take time and thought.
Do we starting by doing an inventory of the refrigerator? 
Do we start by surveying what is in the cupboards and then writing the list?  

Then where we start?

Quiz the Family Members - We start by asking the family members as to what they would like to eat in the coming weeks. There is nothing worse than having a kitchen full of food that no body wants to eat. The reason for this is not adjusting the meal planning and shopping to the family's likes and dislikes. 

I like liver and onions. The rest of the family hates the idea. Our daughter does not like fish, but she loves chicken. My wife does not care for pancakes, but she loves pork steaks. After putting all our likes and dislikes together, it becomes a little bit of a challenge to come up with meals everyone will eat.
Seasonal Eating Habits - Winter time is great for soups and sandwiches. As the weather gets warmer salads and BBQ become the family favorites. This also holds true for certain time of the week. We like to eat pancakes on Saturday morning. Sunday morning is reserved for eggs and German sausage. 

Fixing Time - A hundred years ago it was nothing for the average house wife spend all day cooking for dinner. Today, if it takes more than 45 minutes to fix a meal, it is to long. This is where going to places like the Food Network and for ideas becomes important. The pressure of keeping the cooking time short is just as important as making the meals desirable. 

Survey the Kitchen - Here is where a good imagination comes into play. Look at all the items that don't get eaten. Look for ways you can fix them differently. Put on the shopping list what is needed to make those uneaten items more desirable.

Take just plain macaroni sitting on the shelf in a glass container. One thing I like to do is make hamburger goulash. All it takes is some noodles (of any kind) add hamburger and a can of stewed tomatoes, then add a few selected spices to the mix. The end result is a quick easy meal.

Plan Meals - Now comes the step of planning out an exciting group of meals for the next week or two. Make sure you take into consideration family activities. It does no good to plan a nice sit down meal when everyone will be home briefly and off to a basketball game.

Here is where using Google Calendar would be great. Get everyone in the family using Google Calendar. Have them keep it updated with their activities. Have the whole family shared their calendars with each other.  Now you know when everyone will be home and at what time.

Write Out the Grocery List - Now you do have enough information to create a well crafted shopping list. Once the meals have been planned, now an ingredient list can be built. From that ingredient list what is currently in the kitchen can be subtracted. What remains is the basic well crafted shopping list. 

Oh yes, there are two things that needs to be added. One, get something that is quick and easy to fix like pizza. Nobody wants to spend a lot of time cooking after they are worn out from shopping and putting everything away. Two, add sale items on thing you use on a regular basis. It never hurts for stock up, especially if you find an on sale. 

I am always interested in hearing from you about your shopping experiences. You can email me a

I'm so very impressed. That was a fabulous post full of informative and completely useful ideas. Thank you so much for coming and sharing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment