How often do you crack open a container of sour cream to find fuzz, or discover a plum putrefying in the fruit bowl? When eating on a budget, waste can be your worst enemy. Letting hard bought groceries go bad is as good as stuffing bills down the disposal. But, armed with a premeditated shopping list, based off simple menu planning, you can conquer over-shopping and save time doing it. Remember, to the planner go the spoils (or, er, the not-spoiled)!
Menu Planning 101
Planning a menu can be as easy as long a you pick out three or four recipes to prepare throughout the week. These might include something new,or a signature dish that resides in your mind (in this case it’s helpful to jot down the ingredients).
Menu planning is essential in warding off supermarket wanderlust, the aimless perusal of market isles, resulting in impulse buying and ultimately, wasted resources. We’re all susceptible to the lure of abundance, especially when we lack purpose. You might spy a particularly ravishing bunch of radishes and with the best of intentions think, “Oh, I’ll find some way to use these.” But, if you’re like me, those highly perishable heads are more likely to rot in the crisper than dazzle on the dinner table.
Grocery stores are organized by categories of food, so why not plan accordingly? Divide your shopping list by supermarket sections; it’s absolutely the most efficient way to shop. When in a rush, I’ve bypassed this step and rued the day I did, when carting back to the produce isle, yet again. Even if you haven’t planned a menu, take five minutes to break down your shopping list. It will save you from wasting priceless time and aggravation.
Here are the categories I like to use:
- Dry Goods