I haven’t met a person (maybe because I’m a bit antisocial) who has mastered the topic of buying food and managing what’s in the fridge. I think that the average person from the city is in the grocery store even every day, and still goes there the next day because there is nothing to eat, I cannot prepare anything from it. It’s just like I have nothing to wear in front of a wardrobe full of clothes. Minimalists have already given advice to humanity in the subject of wardrobes, now let’s master the grocery. So in the fridge and cabinets, some things are forgotten, eventually out of date or spoiled must be thrown away. And we are still dissatisfied, hungry, disorganized and tired of being in the store every now and then. Many people live their whole lives this way. But today I will share with you a way of shopping smart so that this previous sentence is not about you.
My shopping disorganization history
I used to have a system, which I have been using for months, which supported me well in the matter of grocery shopping, but it was not perfect.
This good system was based on the fact that I had a list of products that I always want to have at home. Before every purchase, I took this list, checked whether I still have each of these products in the fridge and cabinets, and wrote the missing ones on the shopping list. Of course, to the shopping list, I could also add seasonal vegetables, fruits or our current cravings, which was not on the biglist of what I always want to have at home.
Pros of such a list:
- I limited the situations that I was in the store, I bought everything, but … oops … we don’t have eggs and someone has to go a second time
- the list of what I want to always have was written according to how the products are arranged in the store, so shopping was efficient, I did not go round, I did not return to the same place, I did not make miles between shelves, wasting time and looking sideways (marketing working sideways); I did not wander, I did not invent an idea for dinner at the moment, I just did the points from the list, efficiently, as in the army.
Cons of such a system:
- before each shopping, I looked through the entire fridge, freezer, and all cabinets in accordance with the list, checking for the presence (or not) of the products
- all in all, I used to go to the store even every other day, and if you think about the point above, i.e. checking if you have oatmeal, sugar, ketchup, rice, ginger, and X other things every other-third day, it’s… it takes quite a long time, there appears a bit of redundant, fruitless work here, it may be discouraging.
Until around mid-November, Eureka in this subject slowly came to me.
I decided that I do not want to check every few days whether these oat flakes need to be bought or not yet. I thought maybe I would start a pantry, a supply. I will buy three packets of oats and instead of checking the status of this one open packet every few days, I will just know that I have flakes.
I observed this and myself, adapted and finally developed a system, consisting of two lists: pantry/supplies shopping list, for a monthly shopping, consisting of products that don’t spoil quickly, and current shopping list, i.e. fresh products or products where large quantities would not fit in the fridge or freezer. This is all the genius and this is the revolution, at least for me, in my life. It turns out that now I go shopping a maximum of twice a week.
How does the revolutionary system work, thanks to which you will control your groceries?
(So that the groceries will no longer control you!)
So how do you organize your shopping so that the idiotic and sad phrase found on the Internet
Grocery shopping is a constant element of our daily duties
1 | You take 2 pieces of paper and, by browsing the contents of your kitchen, create a draft of the lists.
One paper is a list of products that you can buy (and store) in large quantities, once a month.
There may be sugar, flour, cereals, some products for the freezer (meat, meat for soup, vegetables for soup), spices, sauces, ketchup, mustard, pasta, raisins, jams, honey, snacks, coffee, and tea.
The second page is a list of products that either can not be kept too long, or that would not fit in the fridge, freezer or even in cabinets in a monthly quantity.
Here you will probably find vegetables, fruits, maybe ham, larger amounts of meat, bread, dairy products.
The easiest way is to write these products down, one after another, listing everything you have in the fridge, freezer and cabinets, assuming that these are products that you want to still and regularly see on your menu.
After taking a physical inventory, you can sit for a while and meditate over the lists, adding something you don’t have, but you would like to eat.
Make sure each product is on the right list: to buy once a month or more often.
2 | You rewrite the lists in a clean order that will streamline shopping.
In your imagination, enter the store where you buy the most or most often and enter products from the draft list in the order in which you will take them off the shelves, walking through the store along a straight path.
If you buy some products in other places, group them below.
You do it for both lists – monthly and more frequent.
3 | You add hygiene and cleaning products.
We talk here about improving the kitchen, but because in the store we usually buy immediately the necessary, ending cosmetic-home-washing products, write them down and list them on the once a month list. It also makes things easier for you. You don’t have to wonder if the soap is running out in the middle of the month, you don’t have to remember when your husband tells you that his toothpaste is running out. You have control. You know how to shop smart. That’s why you know that you have everything. And here comes The Calm!
4 | You buy monthly quantities of the monthly supply products and determine which period of the month will be the time of this big shopping.
As everything is written down, it’s time to load this pantry, fridge, and freezer.
So you take a clean piece of paper (or a useless paper on one side already printed, if you care about being eco-friendly) and you go through the cabinets with the monthly list. On the current shopping list you write what you need to buy and attention: in quantities per month.
This first loading of the pantry can be spread out to several visits in a store, if you want, sometimes it is mentally easier. You can do it slowly, in small steps.
And you decide when you will do these big purchases every month. I plan them at the beginning of the month, although without a fixed date.
5 | You practice the habit.
You do this big shopping once a month.
And when you are missing something on a regular basis, you grab the more often list, browse the kitchen for these products, add what you need to the list and buy.
6 | You revise.
This system, which authentically added a million points to my comfort of life, was created as a result of the transformation of the previous system.
At the beginning, on the lists of the new system, I did not have ketchup and halva, instead, I entered Italian cheese, which I do not want anymore, I do not need to buy.
What do I mean by that? Let’s not be stupid, stiff people, who put themselves in a habit, a system, a schedule and function in it without reflection.
Change, evaluate changes, go back to the previous one, delete, add, rearrange, improve.
Not everyone works in life like me, not everyone wants the effects that I have.
Change your system until you are fine. And then you will improve it again.
How to grocery shop smart – efficiency tips
Tips from an old housewife, still stubbornly before 30 😉 :
- You can freeze bread and rolls. I don’t know what it looks like in terms of health, this freezing. But since the bread itself looks poor in terms of health, maybe freezing the bad won’t spoil it. And thanks to this you don’t have to fly to the store every day or every other day. I freeze immediately in portions in which I will need, e.g. 5 rolls, half bread. In the evening I take them out and put on the windowsill. We eat it on the next day, starting in the morning.
- Freeze meat smart, i.e. in portions, not in large chunks if you do not use large chunks.
- For shopping, take spacious, cotton bags with a bottom.
Printable list for you
I prepared the printable, suitable for writing the lists mentioned above (monthly supplies, monthly hygiene and cleaning supplies and more often list) in an elegant form. After all, we write these large lists once, keep them in a drawer in the kitchen, next to pens and small sticky notes, and pull out if necessary, no more than twice a week.
These are just ordinary lists, no design genius. But I have already devoted my time to prepare them, so if you choose to use them too, you will save these minimum half an hour of recalling how to create documents 😉
These are the same lists that I’ve been using for almost three months. Lists which added a million points to the comfort of my life.
I shared the system with you, I can share with you a ready, convenient 2-page printable. If you want to download it, choose how much you want to pay for what I share here.
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