Home Organization – Grocery Shopping

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,344
    Professional organizer Janet Schiesl shares tips for staying organized while grocery shopping.

    Janet Schiesl

    Janet Schiesl is the owner of Basic Organization, a Professional Organizing firm. With fifteen years as a space planning expert in interior design, Janet decided to open a business that concentrated on simplifying the most important space, your home. Basic Organization was founded in 2005 with the tag line “Organize Everything – Simplify Life” which reflects the mission statement used for every client. Janet specializes in working with families and the elderly looking for better time management or wanting to downsize. She brings her experience in space planning to help improve work flow and furniture placement with in a home. Janet is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and is a committee chairperson for the Washington D.C. chapter. She has written many articles focusing on ways to improve your life. She lives and works in Northern Virginia.

    Hi, I am Janet, I would like to talk to you now about how to organize your grocery shopping. You ask, why do I need to organize my grocery shopping? Its a great way to save time and money, just like businesses do, they look for the way to save money to help the bottom line, you need to do that too. Like I said, its a great way to save money, and there are two organizing tools that will help you with saving money and time when you grocery shop.

    The first thing I want to talk about is planning a menu. For that you would also use a calendar. I would like you to write down your meals for the next week or so, plan them using store ads, or coupons, if you choose to. A lot of times a store ad will help me decide what to make for dinner sometime in that week. Its a great way to shop the ads. What you need to do is when you see something in an ad that you like, that you are going to purchase, write it down on your grocery list, but also write down on your calendar when you are going to use that item. For an example, say hotdogs are on sale, I write two packages of hotdogs on my grocery list. I write down that we are going to have hotdogs this Monday. Then I go down three weeks later and I write that we are going to have hotdogs again. That way I have planned for both packages of hotdogs that I am going to purchase at the store. This will save you a lot of time and money, because youre planning your meals in advance and youre using the sales that the stores are having.

    Another thing you want to do is what I call shop your pantry and your refrigerator. Before you make out your grocery list or as you are doing it, you go to your pantry in your fridge or your freezer and see what you already have. This keeps you from purchasing items you already have. It also can give you ideas for dinner ideas, and it helps you save some money, because youre not purchasing more than you need at the store. I also plan leftover meals. Sometimes its easiest to buy a larger piece of meat and cook it and then plan two meals out of it. You want to write that down on your calendar also. A great way to use your leftovers is to make sandwiches, write them down on your calendar or to have burritos or soup out of the leftovers.

    Another easy saving tip is write down -- plan your dinners out and write them down on your calendar. This is just a way so that you dont run out for a fast meal the night before, because you know that you have a dinner planned out later in the week.

    Another thing I like to do is plan your familys top ten meals and use those as your base of your menu planning. Its a great way to cook things that your family likes and then you can supplement with different meals throughout the week.

    The second thing I would like to talk about is ways to save time and money during your grocery shopping is to have an organized shopping list. How you do that is one visit to your grocery store, where you walk through the aisle and write down basically whats on the aisle markers of the store. A very quick list, this is mine, very simple. One trip to the store and you write down your list. You also can add like your favorite items in the aisle that theyre in, just to remind you where they are in the store. Then I go at home, put this on my computer. I print it out each week when I start my grocery list, and I write the items I need in the order that they are in the store, underneath the subheading of the aisle where those items are. This saves a lot of backtracking when you get to the store, and it also saves you from doing any impulse buying, because you know exactly what you need and what area of the store its in.