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Food Planning

Working along with our Freezer Organization methods, we use a couple of tracking methods in the kitchen as well.

The side of the refrigerator has been covered with whiteboard paper.  On that, we have two main sections: weekly menu with sections for each day, and grocery list – which is further split into “next time we go to the store” and “when it’s on sale” (plus occasionally sections for other stores – like the garden centre or if we need to fill the propane tank for the BBQ).

Fridge with menu and grocery list

Fridge with menu and grocery list

Menu gets updated every Friday, since K is at her grandparents most weeks, which makes it easier to hit the grocery.  We don’t always stick to the menu exactly – we’ll try to eat everything from the planned list sometime through the week, but it might not be on the originally planned day.  We also try to schedule in 1-2 “leftovers” nights, since we tend to cook more than we eat on any given night, especially if K decides it’s something she doesn’t like that week…

As for the grocery list, any time we notice we’re out (or almost out) of a staple, it gets added to the list.  Other things (milk, fruit) are perpetually on the list, so we don’t even bother writing them down anymore.  We round out the list based on the week’s menu plans.  Now that our local Farmer’s Market is open, I’ll hit that up Friday morning (early afternoon once I’m back at work), then do the grocery for everything else in the evening.

Between the freezer and the menu, we keep our grocery bills down by buying frozen or freezeable stuff when it’s on sale, then we only need to pick up fresh items when nothing is on sale (milk, eggs, produce).  We’ll also tweak the menu based on what’s on sale.  Find a 30% off steak that’s best before tomorrow?  Goes into the freezer or on the grill tonight.

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