Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Resolutions

Do you do New Years Resolutions? I don't.  I kind of do them all year long instead of making some big ones at the beginning of the year (and failing!).  Whether you make resolutions or you don't, I challenge you to get organized in your shopping and cooking for 2012.

If you are resolving to lose weight, cooking at home will help you do it.  If you are resolving to save money, being organized and making grocery lists will help you do that, too.  Here's how to do it:

1) Plan your meals.  Even if you plan sandwiches every night; make a list and stick to it.  Be flexible, of course, but don't buy 10 frozen pizzas just because they are on sale.   You don't need them! Really, you don't.

2) Have a list every time you go to the grocery store.

3) Eat at home; only eat out once or twice a week.

Here's the low tech list template I use at my Walmart Supercenter. I print it out and then write on it through the week and when I plan our meals.  I have a certain way I walk around the store, so I've organized the categories as such. I fold the paper in half so I can hold it easier while shopping.  I start on the Walmart side (that's what I call the side without the food), then head to the cleaning supplies, then to the snacks, and so forth, finishing with produce.
Confession:  I don't coupon.  I admire those ladies at the store with coupon binders and calculators who are passionate about saving money.  I just don't have it in me. 

I prefer to save money by meal planning and staying organized.  If you plan your meals, you won't waste food. If you have a list, you won't over-buy.  And if you HAVE to take children with you when shopping, a list will help you get out of the store without forgetting anything.

Use any list type that works for you; there are all kinds of free printables out there like this one and this extra cute one that has a chevron print.  If you like lists where you check off what you need,  this one is really good.  I've tried a cool list app on my phone, but I just ended up dropping my phone at the store (more than once!) so that didn't work for me.

You'll be happily surprised at how smoothly your shopping trip goes, how you save money, and have more time for Pinterest (um, I mean, your family)...