Today is Tuesday. That means grocery shopping. We got up at 7 so we could be back in time for the babysitter that comes at 10 (well, I was up at 6, but I woke Caleb at 7). During the summer and fall, I shop on Mondays as well, since that’s when the farmer’s market is, but during the winter, I can get it all done on Tuesday (27 cent banana day!).
I used to go to the store multiple times a week to replace things we ran out, to get things for dinner, etc, etc. But lately, I’ve been better about planning out our meals and buying what we need for the whole week.
First I go through our dinners.
Tuesday-Soup Day–today we’re having Minestrone. It’s a new recipe, so we’ll see how it is.
Wednesday-Pizza Day-we order dominos, but also need to make sure we have salad greens for a large salad to go with
Thursday-stir fry and rice day (though honestly, I forget to cook the rice half the time)–this week we’re having curry again, but with different vegetables in it
Friday-Mexican-homemade corn tortillas with beans and peppers and millet and tomatoes and guacamole and corn, basically anything and everything
Saturday-Italian-I think we’re just going to have spaghetti and broccoli again, I never get tired of that. And that means 3-4 cups of broccoli for me and a small amount of pasta on top of it.
Sunday-Leftovers-whatever needs to be eaten or if there is nothing, something out of the freezer (I freeze extra soups, chilis, and stews)
Monday-Mashed Potatoes and a green vegetable (that means more than half of a large plate filled with the vegetable)–so I pick the vegetable-this week it’s Kale, yesterday it was asparagus.
Once I have the dinner menu set, I think about breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Lately I’ve designated breakfast as green smoothies and lunch as a large salad with fruit or beans on top or/and leftovers. Saturday is pancake/waffle day, so I don’t usually have a shake that day.
So I need enough spinach for 6 smoothies plus bananas and fruit. I estimate 6 salads for the week, so that would be 6 medium heads of romaine or leaf lettuce plus beans for at least 3 of the salads, and fruit for the other three, or 3 heads of lettuce and a pound of spring mix.
I need fruit for snacks and desserts too. Plus food for Caleb. He’ll want toast for breakfast so I need to make sure I have enough flour for bread. He likes his pasta with tomato sauce. He’ll eat red peppers and celery mostly for his raw vegetable consumption. His favorite fruits are grapefruit, bananas, and strawberries, but he will eat an apple if I take it to the gym. He likes Amy’s canned veg. chili and black beans for lunches. Plus he gets to pick one thing that I wouldn’t normally buy: bagels, tortellinis, cereal, crackers, chips, etc. and any fruits and vegetables he requests obviously.
The trick to avoiding repeat trips to the store is to buy enough, AND to go without your favorites if you run out. If we run out of celery and red peppers, Caleb just has to eat carrots, which he likes, but won’t eat if the other 2 are available. If I run out of juicing oranges, I just have to eat clementines at the gym instead of bring juice (which I prefer). If you run out of spring mix, eat your romaine.
Refusing to go to the store more than once a week helps you save money, because you don’t waste the things that you buy that aren’t your most favorites. You’re more likely to eat the leftovers too, because that may be all you have left (besides canned and dry goods).
Having a regular meal plan helps with this. Breakfasts and lunches are much simpler to plan for now, because they are always the same. Well, they vary within the form, but the forms are the same. Generally I buy much the same food week to week, depending on the season and on what’s on sale. And by the season, obviously I’m not talking about our local season now in March. We are looking at 6 inches of snow tomorrow apparently.
What is your grocery shopping strategy? Does anybody practice a more European way of shopping-picking up fresh ingredients almost daily? Or I’ve heard that’s a more European style. Is anyone getting excited for spring? When we can just go outside to our gardens to make up our salads? I’m getting very antsy.
lunch-same salad as yesterday because it was so good
workout snack-banana smoothie and celery
Dinner-minestrone and homemade bread
workout-ran 45 minutes outside
work done-painted 100 or so peg people, paid my assistant to put the beeswax finish on the 3 kitchens (that counts right?)