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Make a Grocery List

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Organize your list by PRODUCE, DAIRY, FREEZER, MEAT, and MISC. (the 5 major categories in which most supermarkets are organized with miscellaneous being the shelves. You can further define your grocery list so it fits your needs.

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Grocery List

Review your pantry and cross off food items that you already have and cross them off your grocery list; however, if you find a really great sale while you are out and about, go ahead and stock up on those items.

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Additionally, review the various sources from where you will get the food items that you will incorporate into your menu: farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), food do-ops, pick your own from orchards, or directly from your own garden (you can even garden if you only have a balcony because there are many plants that you can grow in pots).

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NOTE: Healthy foods are frequently less expensive than processed foods. Someone has to be paid for cooking foods, adding preservatives (to extend shelf life), printing packaging and labels, inserting food items into containers, and shipping. Add to that, once the markets have the products, they also have staff that they have to pay, so they increase the prices to cover those costs.

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Fresh Fruits and Veggies

You can avoid all of that by purchasing fresh fruits & veggies as you need them. Since my family has switched to fresh fruits and fresh veggies, my son tells everyone that we have become “food snobs” because we have learned that the taste of fresh fruits and veggie is much better than those that you can purchase in a supermarket.

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Even the fruits and veggies that are in supermarkets are days, and in some cases, weeks old. The sooner that you serve fruits and veggies after they have been picked, the better they taste. That is where farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Food Coops, and Pick Your Own come into the picture. Even when the prime growing season has ended, provided you froze fresh fruits and veggies, you will still have produce that is fresh from the garden to your table.

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Consider the store brand. Many store brands are manufactured in the same facility and with the same formulas as name-brand products with the only differences being the prices and the packaging. You may find that many store brand products closely resemble your name brand favorites and you will save when online grocery shopping by purchasing the generic version over its pricey competitor.

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Below is an example of my own menu (step #1 in the 10 Step Supermarket Combination Technique) that I use to assemble my grocery list.

Menu Example

And below is an example of my grocery list that was made from the above menu:

Grocery List Example

Task List

TAKE ACTION #1: Create your 2-week grocery list. See an example of my January menu below. In my actual spreadsheet, I link the actual recipe to each item so finding the ingredients I need is very easy.

 

 

Task List

TAKE ACTION #2: Once each month, try adding a different food item (that is in season) to one meal. Ask all family members to try at least one bite of the new food item. Make sure that you have enough other food items that everyone does like in case they do not like the new item. This is an excellent way to build a wider variety of food items into your menu. Consider having a taste test as a way to get everyone to try new food items.

 

Task List

TAKE ACTION #3: Consider getting the family involved for a “planning meeting” every quarter so they can include some of their favorite recipes into the menu for next quarter. If you do this, make it a fun event: have a “make your own pizza night” as everyone builds their own pizza. While it is baking (12-15 minutes), ask everyone to let you know their favorite meals so you can build those menus into the next quarter.

 

Task List

TAKE ACTION #4: Post a form outside your refrigerator door. As you and family members use the last of an item (or notice that the item is almost empty), add the item to this list. If someone in your family wants to have something special for a meal, have them add that info to this list so that you can build their meal into your schedule (and if it’s a hit when you have it, add it to your menu).

Name the dinner item after the family member who suggested the meal and have some fun with it (e.g., Jeanne’s McMuffins).

Updated: August 8, 2015 — 9:24 pm

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