SHOPPING, SHOPPING, SHOPPING

Do you find yourself running to the store daily? Or spending hours shopping just to put things away and find that you forgot something really important? And how come you can spend a hundred dollars and come home with 4 bags, but your girlfriend can spend the same and come home with 8? You are not alone. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you organize the shopping in your life.

Do you keep a running shopping list on the fridge? You should. Even if you can’t find some of those ready made magnetic shopping list note pads, you can easily make one. Any flat fridge magnet and some glue (or tape)┬áto the back of a note pad works just fine and whala, you’re in business.

Make sure that as you notice you are running low on any one item it immediately gets put on the running shopping list. Do not wait or think to yourself that you need to put it on the list when you are done with whatever you are doing. Stop what you are doing right then and there and put your item on the list. Believe me, it’ll save you the headache of raking your brain later to remember what it was that you wanted to put on the list.

How about keeping a master list of staples. Think of each food group to make things easier. Start with your proteins. You typically have Fish, Chicken, Eggs, Pork, and Beef. For vegetarian type of diets you could include your Quinoa, Nut Butters, and Soy products. Many people include several dairy (and dairy like) products; at the very least Milk, Cheeses and Butter. Yogurt is a good one here too. When it comes to Fruits and Veggies think in the colors of the rainbow: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange, and Purple if you can think of any (purple is usually my hard one because I’m not a fan of eggplant but dark grapes could qualify). You could even quiz each member of the family to name their favorite fruit and veggie in each color. Saves you from having to do all the thinking yourself and you are assured to always have on hand what will get eaten and nothing goes to waist. Don’t forget a few grains like a loaf of bread and a box of cereal (it’s really hard to make a PB&J without bread).

Are you a coupon shopper or do you bother to check the weekly ads? A few minutes of routine efforts can add up to some pretty big savings. There are several different styles of ready made coupon organizers you can buy. Research them on Google or Amazon; check out all the different pictures to find one that’s appealing to you. Wallet style and binder style being the most popular. You can also make your own binder style from items at your local office supply store (heck, you could go really ghetto and just rubber band several envelopes together).

Don’t forget the Household items and paper products. Start by thinking of each room in the house and what gets used in each room. Some examples would be like in the Laundry Room you have detergent, dryer sheet and at my house I keep White Vinegar as a rinse to eliminate odors. In the Bathroom would obviously be toilet paper and hand soap, but what about shower soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant. The Kitchen has several areas that could be addressed. Don’t forget paper towels, garbage bags, zip lock baggies, cling wrap or tin foil and disinfectant. Personally, I like Lysol products. They kill the germs and smell nice to boot.

Utilize your freezer or the hard to reach, top cupboards to buy in bulk and rotate items. Having a membership card to warehouse stores that sell in bulk, like Costco, could really make a difference, especially if you are buying for several family members, or your items have good shelf life and you are anti-social enough to only tolerate public shopping once a month or so.

Once you get this chore down to an organized science you can cut your shopping down to one major trip a month and a quick trip for perishables once a week.

These quick and easy suggestions should help keep you organized and on track. You will save time, money, and frustration. If you can think of other creative suggestions, please feel free to comment below. We love new ideas to try.