At the end of my 2 week food supply, I sit down, with the calendar and I write down the next 2 weeks. I immediately fill in Wednesdays and Sundays with a big ole X because I do not cook on those 2 nights. We eat at church. I also fill in the 2 Thursday nights because Big Daddy makes me a homemade pizza, while the kids eat frozen pizzas or mac and cheese. I add those ingredients (the needed ones) to my grocery list.
After I do that, I scour through my recipes to see what sounds good. On one list, I have my dates and my menu plans. On another list, I begin my grocery list. As I choose a recipe, I add the ingredients that we need on my grocery list. Once I’m done with the suppers/sides,
I ask the kids what we need for lunches. They are pretty consistent (corn dogs, hot dogs, bologna, string cheese, slice cheese, lunch meat, carrots, nuggets, soup, ravioli, ramen noodles, fruit, bread, pb & j, snack crackers, tuna). They let me know what we are out of and I add that to my list. We do, homeschool, so we are all home for every single meal.
I have cut out all of my breakfast foods. I used to buy pop tarts, 2 boxes of fruit bars, 2 boxes of granola bars, 2 gallons of milk, 1 gallon of “special milk”, go gurt, 4 bags of cereal and let me tell you, that adds up. I now buy 1 gallon of milk, 1/2 gallon of special milk, 2 of those large containers of off brand yogurt (the kids add my homemade granola to that), I make my own fruit bars and granola bars and I make regular granola that they eat warmed with milk or on granola. I also make 3 dozen pancakes, 2 dozen muffins and 2 dozen omelet muffins. I freeze all of this except the granola. It is time consuming, but worth it because it has cut our grocery bill down by so much.
For drinks, we buy coke (for me…I know, I’m awful), bottles of water and frozen OJ. I also have those little packets of lemonade you can add to your water. We do not buy junk food. If we want something sweet, we make it. I bake a lot of bread (which is one of the easiest things I’ve ever done…that is for another post, unless I already posted it).
When I get done with adding all that we need (that includes paper products, bathroom things, anything we NEED), then I go through my pantry/fridge/freezer/cabinets to see what I can mark off because we already have it. Sometimes I can mark off a lot, sometimes we need every bit of what I have written down. There are RARE occasions when I needed Big Daddy to stop at the store for 1 or 2 ingredients, but I try to plan accordingly. If we can stay out of Walmart for those 2 weeks, it is less tempting to buy a lot of crap that we don’t need.
Lastly, we shop at Kroger…seems to do better. I do load ecoupons, but rarely use them before they expire. I was an avid couponer, but haven’t had time, so yesterdays haul was coupon free. Kroger just has better deals and they are nicer.
If anyone has questions/comments/suggestions, feel free to email me or post a comment. As I think of things, I’ll continue to post. Hopefully, I can help someone.
**We raised/slaughtered a hog, so we have a lot of pork in our freezer. Once a year (which we are out currently), we buy a 1/2 a cow and we also have chickens that lay like champions**