Friday, February 24, 2017

The Ulitmate One Trip Grocery List

Weekly Grocery List, Grocery, Grocery Printable, Organized Grocery Shopping
One and Done: How to Make One Trip to the Grocery Store a Week, #Menu Planning

I don’t mind going to the grocery store once a week, but I HATE to have to make two or more trips in a week.  I like to get it all over with at once. I learned to be efficient at this when I lived in Germany and my refrigerator was half the size it is now.  Groceries at that time, closed at 5:00 PM, and were not open {GASP!} on Sundays.  Both my husband and I worked, so shopping during the day was out of the question.  So on Saturdays, we would drive an hour to make it to a “big” grocery store to do our once a week trip.  It was like the day before Thanksgiving busy every Saturday.  I hate crowds, so this was torture for me.  I guess I still carry those scars, because the thought of going outside the once per week limit I set, makes me want curl into the fetal position and cry.  Kidding, it isn’t thaaaat bad (but close, very close).  What is does resort into, is some pretty wacky meals from whatever I can find in the pantry to tide me over until my scheduled grocery trip. I know what you’re thinking, that maybe I should see a therapist about this, but really, we have a much more important issues to discuss, so I’ve devised a plan to keep me in the once a week zone.     

The key to making this work is coming up with the menu on Sunday night.  Most of us have a set rotation of meals that we cook.  Well, take a look in your pantry and see what you already have, then think about your schedule for the upcoming week, and plan accordingly.  Know you have soccer practice on Wednesday and won’t get home until 6:30?  Well, don’t try that new recipe then.  Bring on the old standby or make room for pizza, or whatever.  We have a late night Tuesdays, so I pick up something easy for my husband to start while I play taxi driver.  Typically it’s Tamales and salad, or I’ll put something I already made in the oven or on the stove and tell him to start it at xx:xx time (Typically something he doesn’t have to pay too much attention to because I know he will get distracted with work.). 

I can hear those eyes rolling for those of you who “just can’t be tied to a list”.  (Might I suggest that perhaps this is a fear of commitment, but we’ll save that another post.)  “The List” doesn’t tie you to anything.  You did not just sign a contract in blood.  There will not be mutiny in the family if you stray from “the plan”.  There are nights I have just looked at the menu, and said, “Yeah, that’s not going to happen,” and ordered pizza, or pulled something out of the freezer, or just made peanut butter and jelly, scrambled eggs, or cereal for dinner.  It’s okay.  In fact, my kids love when this happens, as it usually gets them out of eating some vegetable that they didn’t want to eat anyway. Afraid the hubby will complain? Well, I tell mine he is free to scrounge for whatever he wants in the kitchen.  Really, I won’t be offended  Or, better yet, he can show me by example the next night, what a proper meal should look like.  I am always open to learning new things 😉 .   You don't even have to let the family know you have a plan for the week.  I do post mine, mainly so I no longer have to answer the question, "What's for dinner?" They just look at the menu.

I have given myself the freedom to change things up if the situation calls for it.  You know what I don’t have?  Panic.  I no longer stare at an open refrigerator or pantry willing for a dinner for four to appear George Jetson style.  There is nothing worse after a long day of using your brain, and coming home, and being forced to think about one more thing, like dinner.  This is when PB&J becomes a habit rather than a one off.  So do yourself a favor, and spend 15 minutes planning out a dinner menu for the upcoming week.  Then use this grocery list to mark off the items that you need. 

Don’t have a menu to pull from?  Start building one.  I started off by just typing up some ideas when I was looking for recipes on line (Pinterest is a great source for this.)  Then I printed it off, and slipped into a folder with my grocery list for Sunday night when I write up my menu. I add to it as we try new things that we like.  I don’t even re-print or open the computer, I just write it down on the list.  I might tidy it up one day and re-print, when I have more time (ha, ha, ha, when I have more time!) Here is a picture of my messy but functional menu list that I keep in my family planner binder.

Family Planning Notebook, Weekly Menu Planning, Grocery Shopping

I leave the grocery list on the counter during the week for anyone in the house to mark off those items they eat the last of and want more of.  If it’s not on the list, then it doesn’t make it home.  Prepare yourself, there may be fall out from this change for the first couple of store runs, but stand your ground!).  On Sunday, I make the menu on the back.  Once I know what I have, I go through the pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I have and what I need.  This keeps me from buying unnecessary duplicates as well (bye bye multiple jars of dill pickles!)

A note about “The List”:  I modeled this list around the grocery store I frequent.  Yours may be different.  Next time you are at your store, with the list, mark it up to make it user friendly for you.  For instance, the salsa my husband likes is in the dairy section of our store and not the produce section (I don’t understand it either, but it is), so his salsa goes under the dairy section.  I also put the things we tend to buy frequently.  Please change them out to suit your family’s frequently purchased items.  If you would like a word version (or a pages version) of “The List”, in order to customize it to your needs, please let me know, and I will be happy to send it to you.    Bonus idea:  I haven’t done this yet, but I might try it.  You could laminate two copies and use a dry erase marker to mark your list, and that saves you from printing our lists every couple of weeks.  I print 4 pages at a time, and that lasts eight weeks, since there are two lists per page, so right now that is working for me.   


  1. Great blog. I struggle with menu planning and I hate going to the grocery store. This is a great help. I would love the word version please.

  2. Sandy, I've sent a word version to you. Let us know how it works for you (or what doesn't) and also let us know what else you would like to see us cover on the blog.

  3. Love the idea of a Master list for staples! I wold love the file too.