I am so excited to have Diane from Simple Living and Eating guest post for me today! I found her site a long time ago through a link party. I have followed her since then and I find so much of the information she has on her site to be helpful.
How to Write a Shopping List: Reduce Food Waste
By: Diane Balch of Simple Living and Eating (http://www.simplelivingeating.com)
I ran into a friend at the grocery store the other day and she told me she was there because, “My refrigator seemed empty.” She didn’t have a shopping list, and she didn’t have a plan. This was truly a set up for impulse buying and food waste because she didn’t have specific items in mind for actual meals. Planning a weekly menu can be daunting at times but it really isn’t hard if you follow these steps before you go shopping.
1) Check your perisables: If something is wilting it is time to make soup or a quiche with it.
Any unfrozen meats and vegetables need to be incorporated into a recipe early in the week so they will not go bad. For example, you have ground beef in the fridge along with a bag of shredded cheese and some lettuce. Sounds like your first meal of the week can be tacos. Now write down some tomatoes, taco mix and taco shells on to your grocery list and so on…
2) Freezer check: after you have planned your first meals of the week based on the food you have that is most likely to go bad move to the next perishable storage: your freezer. What do you have in there? Frozen pot roast meat… could be a slow cooker meal this week? Some frozen peas and bacon… sounds like a good pasta dish to me…. etc.
3) Activity Schedule: Another important thing to check when you are putting your menu plan for the week together is your calendar. If you have a particularly busy or late into the night day, plan on making a simple quick meal or a crockpot meal on that night and save the recipes that are time involved for less hectic days.
4) Pantry: The next place to check in your kitchen is your pantry. You bought lasagna noodles two weeks ago…maybe this is the week to try that white spinach lasagna recipe you found on pinterest. Oh yeah, you forgot about those cans of baby corn and water chestnuts… maybe a stir-fry might be a nice way to use them up.
5) Clipped Recipes: Now that you have planned to use all of your perishable items for recipes you can now choose 1 or 2 interesting recipes you have pinned or clipped to make without feeling guilty.
How about this great Sicilian Tuna Pasta?
6) Cookbooks: Don’t forget about the cookbooks that you invested money in buying. Try to make a recipe a week out of one of them. You will be surprised how much more use they will get if you just commit to one recipe a week out of your collection.
Thanks again Diane for sharing this great information. I really do think you have given us all something to think about. I am sure everyone enjoyed it and loved your recipes too!
Don’t forget to share your frugal links with me! I enjoy reading all of them and will begin to pin them and share them on Google+. Also, along with the new blog layout, I have a new Category – it is Deals and Coupons. Click on the category in the header and print the coupons that you love! What better and easier way is there to save money?