We have a master list of foods we like.
We consider what meats we have and other items that we purchase from our co-op.
We pick 2 weeks’ worth of meals based on the last couple items.
We consider what activities are going on and pencil in the meals.
I have a free program in which I have inserted all the prices of all the items we buy and from which stores, as well as the size. I did this by keeping receipts and putting the data into the program. I still have to check prices, as they fluctuate.
We go through each meal and write down what we need to purchase and how many, taking inventory in the pantry and freezer at the same time.
We jot down the cost of most of the items and determine if it fits in the budget. At that point, we may do some adjusting. I budget $3 for each breakfast and $9 for each dinner. We usually eat ramen or leftovers for lunch, or someone makes bread sticks. Lunch is negligible.
On my grocery list, I jot down a letter to signify which store to purchase the items at. This also helps me make our trip more expeditious. I will write a C for Costco, W for Walmart, A for Albertson’s and a M for Mr. Thrifty’s, our dent and nick store. I try to hit that store first, as it may have several of the items I need at lower costs. It is hit and miss, though, so best to go there first.
My grocery list includes paper products, diapers, and cleaning products.
I do not use store ads, as we do not get the paper.
I try to shop for a four week period.