Whether you are in a time of uncertainty like during a COVID19 lockdown or you need to watch your spending or waistline, you can get savvy with shopping & meal planning.
Over the years I have needed to become very resourceful in how I spent my dollars to ensure that my family and I were feed & watered without scrimping on those much needed items.
I created a shopping list similar to the one I have included in my Menu & Shopping List Freebie. I believe my son still uses my original worksheet today.
My original shopping list was set up to be the same as the rows of shelves in my local supermarket, but they now change aisles around frequently so the order no longer matters.
What does matter is knowing exactly what you have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. Being organised can bring many benefits to your health & wallet by being savvy with your money, time & shopping.
Reasons to use a menu & shopping list planner
⇒ You only buy what you need. Try not hoard items.
⇒ You don’t need to think every night “what’s for tea”!
⇒ You are less likely to impulse buy & overspend
⇒ You limit your trips to the shops
⇒ Your shopping trips are quicker
⇒ You are able to social distance by staying at home
⇒ Food safety – food is used in suitable & safe time frames
⇒ You are getting good nutrition with planning
⇒ You can batch cook tired veggies into stews & soups
⇒ Batch cooking & freezing reduces the need to cook every day
How Do I Get Planning?
Initially planning your menu & shopping list a week or a fortnight in advance can seem unachievable. By using my easy to follow lists & planners you will head in the right direction for a lifelong habit that you can use every day to make your life easier & less stressful.
Download my Freebie: Menu & Shopping Planner lists and get started. You will find instructions included to explain how to use the worksheets.
What food items do you already have?
Start by knowing exactly what you have in your pantry, fridge & freezers. Compile a list of everything so that you are able to the plan your meals for the next fortnight. You might be surprised just what you have available to use.
Where can I get ideas what to prepare from?
Recipes can be accessed in recipe books, online recipe websites or Facebook Groups or like I often do, I raid my mums’ & nannas’ recipe files. Plan your menu from the food items you already have then expand from there.
It is amazing how you can keep the basics of a recipe & add a few ingredients to a recipe that you had never thought of doing before to create a whole new sensation.
Whats next? – Shopping list.
Put a list on your fridge to for everyone to add any items you require as they use them or notice them missing. Add all items that you don’t have for your recipes in the menu & go shopping for only those to save you money, time & reduce the time you are in the shop for.
TIPS for Planning
⇒ Fresh foods such as some veggies have a short shelf life so try and use them earlier in the meals you plan. Frozen veggies make a great substitute for when the fresh veggies are finished as they keep much longer.
⇒ Tinned & dried foods have a long shelf life so use them amongst the planned meals or closer to your next shopping day. Dried or tinned foods can be used as a meal or a substitute item for a recipe.
⇒ If you are like me & have a number of allergies, prioritise these ingredients or substitutes on your shopping list. Google to see if you can make yourself i.e: almond milk can be made with almonds, water & a blender. Food for thought!