Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week 8 of the Weekly Organization Challenge

This is week 8 of The Good Wife's Weekly Organization Challenge! This week focused on meal planning and grocery shopping.

There are two distinct phases to my meal planning - eating during CSA/Farmer's Market Season and eating without. Eating within CSA/FM season is a little tricky to plan ahead since I only sometimes have a clue as to what I can expect. I also have to make more trips. If we eat completely local for the week, I have to make four trips:

~Saturday morning for all day Saturday, all day Monday and breakfast and lunch Tuesday.
~Tuesday night for dinner that night and all day Wednesday.
~Wednesday morning for all day Thursday.
~Thursday night for all day Friday.

It can be overwhelming and a bit tiresome and frankly why I don't do it every week during CSA season.

The next phase, which I wager is much more common among average shoppers, is more predictable and easy to plan. Typical meal planning involves using store ads to help plan meals. Most sales run Sunday through Sunday. Since I like to shop on Saturday, it gives me almost an entire week to go through the ad, choose recipes and make my grocery list.

Using the ad for the week of May 13 - 19 my meal plan looks like this:

The Shopping List
Certified Angus Beef,  Ground - $3.49/lb
Center cut, bone-in pork chop - $2.49/lb
Fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts - $2.19/lb

Shredded Cole slaw mix*
Green onion
Taters - 2/$5

Tomatoes - 2/$4

Store brand sour cream - $1
Store brand organic eggs -$2

Store brand cream cheese -3/$4*
Store brand shredded cheese - $1.88

Store brand ice cream - 2/$5*
Store brand frozen veggies - $1
Store brand frozen tater tots - 5/$10

Store brand pasta sauce - $1
Store brand pasta - $1
Store brand hamburger buns - $1
Store brand tomato sauce - $.69 
Frenches Mustard -$1

KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce - 2/$3

Hidden Valley Dressing - $2.99**

General Mills Cereal - 3/$10

The Menu
Monday - BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw
Tuesday - Pasta
Wednesday - Tater Tot Casserole
Thursday - Chicken Salad
Friday - Breakfast Tacos

The items on the list in bold are store sale items.
Items marked * have a store coupon
Items marked ** have a manufacture coupon

Since the template I have in my Brains of the Operation, aka Household Binder, have categories for each shopping item, it is easy to group items together to make shopping easier. I also star the items on the grocery list that have coupons and paperclip my coupons to the list.

We also generally eat the same thing for lunches and breakfast, so I add the same items each week without regard to sales and usually only meal plan for dinner. I have also left off a lot of pantry items, since I generally have all my spices on hand. At the end of the month or if there is a really good sale - such as baking supplies around Thanksgiving and Christmas - then I add the items to the shopping list.

All in all, it takes about an hour or so one night a week to meal plan and create my shopping list.

Organize along with me in The Good Wife's Weekly Organization Challenges

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