Saturday, March 31, 2012

Making The List

When I left my job, it took a significant chunk out of our income.  To compensate, we have put ourselves on a very strict budget to help pay off previous debt.  I have found myself making adjustments I never dreamed I would be able to do.  Part of my adjustment includes the way I shop.  You have to remember that my ride to a nice grocery store is almost an hour away.  I choose to go to a super store so that I can get all my shopping done at once.  I only go once a week, and some people wonder how I do it.  Goodness, considering what my life used to be like, I wonder sometimes myself!  If I must be truthful, I have grown quite accustomed to it.  When I go out to the little, "big" city, I am always glad to pull back into my driveway where life is simple and God is great!  I thought I might share how I keep my sanity in trying to shop for a full week's worth of groceries at a time.

Each week on Thursday, I sit down with my computer, menu, and grocery list. I write out each meal for each day.  What is the computer for?  I often go through my recipes on Pinterest or my favorite blogs for menu ideas as I work.  When I pencil in a meal, I immediately write on the grocery list any ingredients that I need to pick up to complete the recipe.  I have my grocery list set up to match the layout of the store in which I shop.  It helps keep me super focused so I don't have so much temptation to spend money on things I don't really need, pushing me over my budget.  It isn't a fool-proof method, especially when you are as naturally scatter-brained as I and/or have little ones running in and out while planning, but it helps me tremendously!  It's only about once a month I forget to add something that I really need.  This week it was the buttermilk!  Thank goodness we do have a tiny grocery store here when I'm in a pinch.  I don't shop there unless I am desperate because the prices are just crazy!  I thought you might like to see a blank copy of my grocery list and menu.  I have the template printed out, and I write on it by hand.  I used to do it all on computer because it was neater, but it became too much of a hassle to turn the computer on every time I needed to add one or two things the list or menu for the following week.  Usually, when I come home on Friday after shopping, I pull out a new template for the next week.  I'll add things to it as I see the need when supplies are getting low or run out (laundry detergent, dish soap, spices, toilet paper, etc...)

This is the menu side.  I easily made this template using a simple word program on the computer.

This is my grocery list side. When I am at the store, I fold the paper in half lengthwise to make it easier to handle.  The smaller size also takes up less room on my refrigerator when I get home and hang up the menu.

This sheet of paper is my brain for half a day one day a week.  What happens if I leave the house without it?  That, my friend, depends on how far away from home I am when I realize I have forgotten it.  If I am still in the driveway or just a short distance down the road, it is inconvenient, but okay.  If, however, I am twenty minutes down the road, I turn around and cry over the wasted gas all the way home!  I simply cannot shop without this list anymore.  Thankfully, the last scenario has only happened once.  Thanks to my wonderful friend, Appie, I have learned to put the list in my car the night before!

So, there you have it!  That is my sanity saver for today.  Please feel free to share any that you have!  Have a blessed Sunday!  I'll see you next week!


  1. What a great idea to have the menu and list on the same page!

    1. Thanks! It's really helpful when I forget how much of something I need to look at the menu and jog my memory. Also, a lot of times when a special event is coming up, I'll start 3-4 weeks ahead of time buying a few items a week. When the budget is getting stretched thin at the grocery store, I can also look and see which items I can leave off without compromising the menu for the immediate week.

  2. I wish that I was that organized!!
    Did you visit hillbillyhousewife website for recipes to save money? She has some good ideas.
    Also, reading through Laine's Letters, and reading about their journey on getting debt free has been so helpful and interesting.

  3. Believe me, I'm not a naturally organized person! I have to work extra hard at it. Thankfully, though, I have done the menu and grocery list so long, it has become second nature. I can't wait to check out those two sites. Thank you for telling me about them! God has really blessed us. We have come so far, and are almost there! Unfortunately, it looks like a "new" vehicle is in our future. We have put it off just about as long as we can. I pray God will provide and lead us in the right direction.