For the three local stores that I shop I look at their weekly specials before making my grocery list. Then I go to my index card box where I have typed or written out menus for suppers. I've categorized the meals behind the tabs: Beef, Poultry, Fish, Pork, and Other (Meatless). I also have a Desserts section. Example: Marinated Chicken would be at the top of the 3x5 index card. Below I've listed side dish options to go with it. Then to the right side I have the ingredients I'll need to prepare the meal. On the back, I've typed the recipe out so I don't have to go "digging" for it every time I want to cook it.
To make my grocery list I then just need to check out the specials, go to my box and quickly choose what I'll cook for the next two weeks and write down what I'll have to buy. Initial setup of the system takes some time, but it's a real time saver and helps with the budget by my not going into the grocery store and just throwing items in the cart willy nilly "thinking" I might need them. This is also a good way to vary the meals so that you're not eating too much red meat and eating a variety of foods.
one way I have found that cuts down on our grocery shopping is to buy a case of each vegetable such as green beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, ect. now that we do not live in a big city any longer an the closet town to shop in is 10 miles away it has help alot.
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