Saturday, October 05, 2019
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - A quick answer about stock up day lists
I had planned to go into a little more detail in responding to a question about how I do my stock up shopping once a month and how making lists helps to organize my pantry shopping. However, I was away from home far longer than I had planned today but at least it should keep me from getting too wordy! ;)
As I have mentioned before, I do a once a month stock up shopping day at both Aldi and Meijers (A Midwestern chain). I purchase most of the meat I will use for recipes at that time, buying what I can find on sale, and then working recipes around them. I can also purchase most frozen items, canned goods, and non-food items at that time, too.
Then during the next weeks, I purchase some fresh produce and anything I need for a recipe that is not in my pantry, frig, or freezer. I don't have a very big refrigerator so I can't store much in the way of produce that needs to be refrigerated for long.
I use a long, narrow, lined note pad that has a magnet on the back so it can stay on the refrigerator all the time. During the month, I write on it a list of items that I need to purchase on stock up day that I don't purchase often (like a spice, vanilla extract, silver polish, etc.) or anything else that comes up to purchase the next stock up day.
Then, I remove that page from the tablet and start a new list (on a fresh page) to take with me to the grocery store. Making this list goes quickly because I keep every grocery list from stock up day in a business size envelope in the in-basket on my desk. I can look through months worth of grocery lists within minutes and write down what I purchase most often.
In addition to listing items from former grocery lists, I add any items from the page I've had on the refrigerator all month. This is the list I take with me to do my grocery shopping. By using the same long, narrow, lined note pad each time (or something similar in size when that runs out), then it is easy to keep each list all together to look at each month.
I should say that it usually works out that my Meijers list can go on the lined side of the paper while the shorter Aldi list goes on the other side. This makes it simpler to use while shopping. Sometimes, especially during the Holidays or when I am cooking for company, the Meijers list spills onto the "Aldi side".
I now have been doing this long enough that I have lists from last Thanksgiving and Christmas in the envelope. This works because I do the majority of my shopping in the same two stores for stock up day. Then in addition, I may go to Kroger during the week for just a few of their store brand items.
I keep another list in the in-basket on my desk, usually at the bottom of the in-basket where I keep items permanently. This is a list on notebook paper of my priorities to purchase if I needed to stock up at the last minute should there be a winter storm warning, a national emergency, etc. I have not had to use it for a national emergency but I have for winter storm warnings many times.
I got the idea for keeping such a list from a book I've mentioned before that I read in the 1970s (How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years), from the section where the author shared about The Cuban Missile Crisis. I decided to permanently keep such a list after going to the grocery store before a winter storm more than once and bringing home items that were not a priority... while forgetting others that were.
I hope this answers the question I was asked! These lists keep me on track, not only for my regular food budget but to see what I need for the pantry.
Image: Cookbook and Apples poster