by Maria Gracia
Here are a few suggestions to try and make shopping an, organized (and as fast as the line will move) fun adventure!
1. Get it on paper. As you use up the last of any item, write it down on a designated list under the name of the store where you would purchase the item. This will help you find what you need right away. Have this list handy so your family can add to it as the need presents itself.
2. Avoid making two trips. If at all possible, try and do most of your errands the same day you do your grocery shopping. Make sure you take that list along with you, so you can go on the errand run without forgetting anything.
3. Be prepared. When it is time to shop for your groceries, try and limit it to one day a week. Gather up the lists and any coupons you can use. Have a designated plastic folder or envelope to hold them all, and have it with you at all times. If you should unexpectedly stop at that particular store, you can use the coupon for the items you need.
4. Plan your route. Knowing where you’re going, especially when you plan to make several stops, can save you both time and money with the high cost of fuel.
5. Map it out. Make up a list of the aisles in the store, and the grocery items in each. You’ll be able to easily pick up the items on your shopping list aisle by aisle, instead of in a random, disorganized fashion. This will help you get in and out of the store in no time.
6. Get help from the teens. When you are shopping with older children, divide up the list and have them pick up items from the other aisles. If at all possible, leave the little ones at home. They almost always add to impulse shopping. Plus your focus then needs to be divided between the grocery shopping and making sure the kids aren’t pulling things off the shelves, or putting items you don’t wish to purchase in your cart.
7. Keep ’em cool. Keep a bag or cooler in the trunk that can hold your perishable items. This will ensure no melted and leaky ice cream packages. Generally shop for groceries last when doing the errands–this way the frozen things won’t have a chance to melt.
8. Instruct the Baggers. Request that the Bagger pack all perishables together in the bags so you can grab them first when you return home. This also gives you the option of leaving the non-perishables to unpack at your leisure.
9. Think about your calendar. Look over your schedule for the upcoming week to see if there is something unusual you will be using in a recipe, or an event that may be coming up for which you need to purchase a card or gift. Put that on your list also.
10. Carry the recipes with you. Carry your family’s favorite recipes with you on little index cards that have the ingredients listed. You can see what is needed on the recipe card and get the items you don’t already have. Saves unnecessary stops at the grocery store during the week for that one forgotten item!
11. Do a bit of prep work. When you get home and unpack your groceries, do some preliminary meal preparation. Cook meat and then package it into meal sized dinners. Wash all your fruit and veggies. Cut the veggies so you can just put them into the dishes you plan on making. This can be a real time saver for your meal preparation.
12. Double up. Plan on cooking a double recipe for some meals. Eat one and freeze the other for a busy weeknight dinner.
13. Create a meal plan. By having a meal plan for the week, along with the items needed list, you should have a quick and easy shopping adventure each and every week.
14. Think outside the box. There is also another solution for grocery shopping. There are various agencies and many supermarkets that can do it for you. If there is just not enough time in your busy schedule, using that service once in awhile, or all the time if you budget permits, might help you get caught up with your To Do list.
From Sarah – being organized is what saves me in my life – the way I write my to-Do lists, the way my office clutter either works for me or doesn’t – my kitchen – Maria gives you lots of free stuff, and a very inexpensive, very helpful ebook here, where you can get organized once and for all! Visit Maria at GetOrganizedNow->
(Note from Sarah – any commissions we get from Maria’s book sales go directly to children’s charities – so look around when you land on the link page, see if any of the books interest you, and buy through that page if you want to try one out (I really like them) – then to see all her free tips, go to the bottom of the page where it says “return to getorganized now” and you’ll land on her main page.)