Sunday, January 24, 2010

This is the way we shop for groceries

Over the past year and a half, Hubby and I have developed a pretty streamlined grocery list and shopping method.

We buy for the week, and prep our protein that same day. A pretty typical weekly menu for us includes:

Fajita night
chicken, tortillas, cheese, onions, bell pepper, sour cream, salsa

Pork Tenderloin
pork tenderlion, roasted veggies, instant cous-cous

Dinner out at one of our fave local enchilada places

Pasta and Wine
pasta, jarred sauce (we doctor ours up with onion, garlic, s&p, red pepper flakes and ground beef or bison)

Chicken/Fish and Potatoes
chicken or fish, mashed potatoes, steamed greens

Date Night
(sometimes this is a great night to make a more labor intensive special recipe... more prep time with a day off of work)

Take-out we can relax before the next big week!

Obviously, that particular menu is not permanent, but knowing generally what we have time for helps us when we shop. We mix up proteins based on what is on sale so we can have variety in our diet. You can streamline your list too by....

...sticking to the main grocery shopping tenets: 

  • think ahead - how many nights are you eating at home this week? 
  • bring a list - nothing fancy here... just write down the stuff you're out of 
  • be easy - don't try too hard to develop recipes while you shop. If you're shopping for two, think of it this way... four nights of dinner to cook? that's four lbs of protein, four different veggies, and four starches. Simplicity!
  • add it up - keep track of your grabs on your phone's calculator - Hubby helps me recognize when my several $1-grabs start adding up to.... a lot!
  • cook special with ease - if you are in the mood to make a special recipe, plan ahead and write down the ingredients so you don't have to guess or stress at the store
Once you really get the hang, you'll find it easier to vary your menu with new proteins, new veggies and new starches to introduce your family to different flavor profiles. You'll always have this simple nights-in : amount-of-stuff-to-buy ratio. Bliss.

For added ease, try prepping your food right when you get home to save yourself even more time during the week. Anything that you won't eat in the next two days should be frozen. Rank foods by heartyness to decide when you'll eat them (can't freeze clams, so we'll have those Monday... ground beef for our pasta can be frozen for a while, so we'll have that Friday, etc...). Trim your proteins, seal tightly and store in the freezer until the night before you want to cook (fajitas on Thursday night? move your chicken to the fridge before bed on Wednesday night).

*Don't you want the recipe for that?! It's Hubby's famous Pasta Bolognese. I'll see if I can divulge his secrets sometime soon!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, to live in the burbs again! I'm not sure your home counts as the 'burbs;' I think compared to mine it does :)

    Purchasing only what you can carry home when you step off the subway is its own very special art.



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