Most of the time, without a list, I would be lost! I am a perpetual keeper-of-lists...and loser of lists! I write them, they go into my pocket and then I forget where I put them. Or, I make up a fabulous grocery list and pull out of the driveway, get halfway up the street and realise I have left it sitting on the kitchen counter....and I go back for it. Why go back? Well, afterall, I spent all that time making it in the first place!
Over and over again, you will hear (or read!) that you need to make a list before going to the grocery store! You will be more efficient, you will save money, you will make fewer trips to the store...Of course you will, but first you have to figure out a system that works for you and your family (of 2 or 4 or 8 or whatever!)...Do you need one list with EVERYTHING on it? For some, that is the way they do it...Our neighbours do it all on Wednesdays...this even includes the trip to the hardware store, or going out to get a new pair of pants, or taking an old pair of pants to the cleaners. For them, it is all about Wednesdays, and if it isn't on the list, it doesn't get done or it doesn't get bought (get bought? can I say that? Where is my English teacher husband when I need a proof-reader?). In our house, there are three lists that refer to groceries...One that includes what we already have (on a week to week basis), this is not an all inclusive list of everything we have, but rather a list of what we have that we will be eating this week...For example, we have tomatoes and a cucumber left from last week that we will eat on Sunday (In other words, DON'T buy more tomatoes!). Our second list is the Costco list, and this one is a bit of a running list as we try not to go to Costco more than once a month (heck, we can't afford to go to Costco more than once a month!). The third list is the grocery list...I divide it into four sections: Breakfast, Lunches, dinners and Daycare. Before I make up a menu for the week (yes, I do this every week, as I have learned that it just all ends in chaos and too much take-out pizza if I don't), I hit the grocery store flyer. Based loosely on what I learned at a young age from my father (a man who made, and still makes! many more lists than I will ever make!), we eat what is on special...and what is local (or as local as I can get...Yes, we eat bananas, but no, they don't grow on Vancouver Island, or even near it!)...So, if pork roast and cottage cheese is on special, then that is what we will be eating. (although, not usually together).
Lunches are a combination of what will be eaten, what is on special and what is healthy...A big thing about lunches though, is always making sure that you are buying (and therefore packing) what is going to be eaten...And with kids, what was eaten (and liked) last week, sometimes isn't what is going to be eaten this week! Go figure...Today, for example, I packed Kate a turkey wrap with mayonnaise and lettuce (she ate a whole plate of lettuce last night at supper!). Half of the wrap came home, because she "didn't have time"...however, there was time to eat the mandarins and the popcorn and the piece of applesauce cake...but not enough time for the wrap...Huh, I am that blonde, I suppose! Don't you? Lesson learned, don't put lettuce in the turkey wrap...But do put chocolate chips in the peanut butter and banana roll-up! (mmm, melted ones! Yummy!).
If I take the time to ask them (since I try very hard not to take anyone with me to the grocery store!) for suggestions for their lunches, generally, we have some success. This week's request (for next week), Bagels...Please, we haven't had them is soooo long!
Okay, bagels are on the list for next week...the big question is, of course, will they still be in demand when next week gets here?