Once I choose a recipe I write it on our menu sheet (otherwise known as a sheet of notebook paper), then write down all the ingredients to buy on my shopping list. I also check our kitchen at this point to make sure we're not buying things we already have, and verify on the recipe that it makes enough for us to have leftovers for lunches. I repeat this at least five times (one for each dinner planned).
Next I survey what we need in the kitchen - more baking ingredients (flour, sugar, etc), how low we are on breakfast options, or if we need more snacks. I check the bathroom to see if we need anything replaced there - toilet paper, shampoo, soap, etc. - and then finally check with the mister to make sure I haven't missed anything. Oh, did I mention I also make sure this fits within our weekly grocery budget?
This is all before I even leave for the store.
Once I get to the store I have it down to a science. My list is divided up into categories and they're in the order in which I find them throughout the store. (For instance, produce, and then breads and meats are at the top because those are the first sections I walk into). How long it takes me to shop depends on how long I've procrastinated on going to the store. I drag my feet so much about going that nine times out of ten I'm either there late at night (less people, but also a bad time if the store hasn't re-stocked some of their items), or in the middle of a day on the weekend (when there are tons of people that take their time moving out of the way and make me want to ram them with my cart).
I cross things off my list as I go, and I add up prices so I can stay within our budget and have a good idea of what the final price will be when I check out. I bring it all home, unload it...then do it all over again a week later. Ugh. Ben goes with me when
I guess it's not so much the grocery store itself I hate, it's all the work that goes into getting there. However, I don't see any of that changing, because we're on a budget and this is a system we've honed since we've been married and it's one we know works.
So until we're rich and can pay someone to do all this for us, I guess I'll just keep complaining about it.
Do you like going to the grocery store? Do you plan meals and shop with a list? And do you call it a grocery store or something else? (A friend of mine always refers to it as "the market.") Any suggestions to help me
(Photo: The Library of Congress)