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On being more organised - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
On being more organised
I'm currently experimenting with planning menus 1 week ahead. I've never done it before and always relied on wandering around the supermarket thinking, "Hmmm.... What shall we have for dinner?" Basically I have set up a spreadsheet with a column to record what I actually cook for dinner (to avoid repeating meals too quickly) and up at the top, I have my menu ideas for the week. I rarely do anything fancy, it's all pretty basic meals, but so far, doing the planning at the weekend when I'm not tired means I don't have to think about what to eat mid-week. I can follow the list instead of just grabbing whatever catches my eye.

For some years I have used a pre-prepared shopping list which really helps me be more efficient with shopping. I have a Word document saved which has a list of everything that I buy regularly. I stick it up inside one of the kitchen cupboards and whenever I notice that I need something, I just put a tick beside the relevant item. When I'm ready to do a big shop, I just grab the list and go. Much easier than sitting down just before I go to the supermarket and trying to remember everything that I'm about to run out of.

Current Mood: busy efficient

6 comments or Leave a comment
heatherp8 From: heatherp8 Date: March 8th, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're even more organized than me!
I keep a whiteboard on the fridge door with the menu for the week. We tend to be creatures of habit at my house, i.e., if it's Monday it's fish sticks and tater tots, another day it's shrimp and grits and so on.
I do vary it occasionally but after nearly 16 years married to my spouse, I know what he likes and doesn't.
feodora From: feodora Date: March 8th, 2015 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
My way is, before I leave for shooping, I have a look in the fridge but often enough we forget it and than we do as you describes.

Often enough I am on my (long) way back from Bonn to Braunschweig on Thursdays when K calls me asking what we might need, although he should know better as he is the week at home (at least in the evenings).

So sometimes we have a stock of toilettpaper for several month but not a drop of milk at home....
houseboatonstyx From: houseboatonstyx Date: March 9th, 2015 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)
When a neighbor was doing our shopping, I set up the list of everything we normally use in a spreadsheet. Each month I'd enter how many we needed of each -- then sort by that column. That put all the Needed things together at the top, and all the Don't Needs below, then cut off the Don'ts. That made a shorter list to carry.
seaivy From: seaivy Date: March 9th, 2015 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
when i lived in New Jersey there were 5 different supermarkets in the 25 miles between my office and home
about 4 o'clock the word would go from one cubicle to another "what are you making for dinner?"
it was so easy to just stop and pick up something

Now the Big Supermarket in 40 miles away and the little one is 20 miles. I plan out the major items for the 5 to 6 days between shopping trips.
My husband is now in charge of the cupboards. He has a printed list and keeps an inventory.
We go over menus and make sure all supplies are on hand.
heatherp8 From: heatherp8 Date: March 9th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
where in Jersey?
(I ask because I was born and raised there and lived there until 1980)
sophielandon From: sophielandon Date: March 10th, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I make up a menu every week, and then a list from that, before we shop.

There are some invariants in the menu (Monday & Thursday fast days as we're doing the 5:2 diet; Wednesdays are fish, as we shop on Tuesdays; two Fridays a month are a potluck appetizer party, and the other two Fridays are homemade pizza or nachos).

I keep a few lists around of pointers to recipes of various kinds; Bittman's "100 meals for X (summer, 10 minutes, etc.)" from the NYTimes food section are essential.

On the whiteboard are things we've just opened up the last of; I add these to the shopping list, which is made out roughly in the path we traverse through the store.

The menu and the list are on the same sheet of paper, which I keep in my purse until the next week, so I don't forget what I planned to cook.
6 comments or Leave a comment