You’ve got organizing questions. I’ve got organizing answers.
This week, a reader asks:
Being organized in food shopping- how do you know what you have, what you’ll need, when to go, and how much?
The first thing you should do is to take inventory of what you have on hand – check your fridge, freezer and pantry, and see what’s there. Try to organize these food-storage locations so that you can see everything. I like to use an Expand-A-Shelf (which is like a mini flight of stairs) so that you can even see what’s hiding in the back of the cabinet.
Now, in addition to the things you already have, think about things you’d like to have around — include your favorite snacks, drinks, lunch items, cereals, beverages, etc. Once you’ve brainstormed a little, type up a one-page list of all these food items (you’ll probably have to use columns, and it would be helpful to create categories that match supermarket aisles and areas). Be sure to leave room on this one-pager for ‘Others’ – items that you may one day have to shop for, but didn’t think of today.
No time to create your own list from scratch? There are plenty of great ones to start from online, like this one from Home Based Working Moms. FreePrintableGroceryList.com has a variety to choose from as well.
Whatever list you decide to go with – your own or an internet version – go ahead and print out a bunch. Hang one on the fridge. Whenever something needs to be replaced, circle it on your list (or write it into that ‘Other’ section). Trying a new recipe? Circle the items the recipe calls for that you don’t already have in the house. When 10+ items have been circled – it’s time to go food shopping. Take the circled list with you, and hang a fresh one on the fridge.
p.s. – I rarely circle ‘ice-cream’ but I always manage to bring some home anyway.
I hope this helps!
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