It All Begins With A Grocery Shopping List
Well of course it begins with a list but not just any list. Grocery shopping lists are essential to better management of not only the grocery budget but of waste in the home too. I remember how many rolls of aluminum foil were in my Grandma’s kitchen when my Mom gave it a good spring cleaning years ago. Grandma was in the habit of buying the same things at regular intervals without checking to see if she really needed them. Have you ever discovered you didn’t need to buy sour cream for Taco Tuesday because there are already two more containers of it in the refrigerator? Yeah, me too.
Holiday cooking means more grocery shopping but for very specific items we may or may not already have in our pantry.
This information is part of our series on Holiday Baking and Cooking. Also see:
Plan Your Holiday Cooking
Get out your calendar and make notes of any events you will be hosting or plan which require extra cooking or more ingredients than you normally keep on hand.
- Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Grab our free Thanksgiving Planner Set
- Christmas Baking for home or for gifts from your kitchen. Also see How to Freeze & Thaw Baked Goods and How To Do Batch Baking For The Holiday Season.
- Are you hosting Christmas dinner or a Christmas breakfast?
- Are you hosting a Christmas party or a Cookie Exchange? See our Cookies & Cocoa Christmas Party ideas.
- Do you plan to create a Hot Cocoa Bar for your family? See these 36 Hot Cocoa Bar ideas.
- You might like to create a Christmas Movie Snack Bar like this one I did for my family.
Any or all of the above ideas will mean more items in the grocery cart. A well planned holiday grocery shopping list is needed to save the budget and your sanity. No one enjoys making multiple trips to the grocery store and it reeks havoc on the budget.
Collect All of The Recipes In One Place
Once you have made a list of all the extra reasons for cooking you will be indulging in, collect all of the recipes you will be using in one place. You can make a folder to keep printed recipes in or just make a list of the one’s you will be making using the online version on your devise. Jot down the name of the website and the exact name of the recipe so you can easily find it. You could also do what I do which is to save online recipes to Pinterest where you can quickly find your personal favorites.
Now you will go through each recipe and jot down the ingredients you will need. Grab our free Christmas Baking Printable set below which includes a sheet for this. You will find common ingredients repeated in multiple recipes, like Vanilla extract, so be sure to check your pantry to see if you need more.
One tip I use is to freeze butter when it is on sale, particularly later in the year. That way I won’ have to pay full price when I need lots of it for baking. Cheese freezes well too so grab that when it’s on sale also especially if you plan to bake cheese straws.
Take Stock Of Your Pantry
Make sure to take stock of the items you already have in your pantry before making your final grocery shopping list.
I keep a shopping list tablet with magnetic backing on the side of my refrigerator year round. My hubby and I add to the list each time we encounter that we have used the last of anything. This is a great way to keep track of what’s in the pantry on a regular basis. Christmas grocery shopping is a little different though since we will be buying things we don’t normally keep on hand.
It is possible you still have plenty of powdered sugar or cocoa mix. Check your stock as you are making your list.
Check your spice cabinet and don’t just look at the containers, pick them up and make sure there is plenty inside. I recently thought I had a jar of Basil when it was actually an empty container I had failed to put in the recycle bin. Fortunately I had fresh basil growing and was able to substitute it for dried.
Will You Be Using Coupons?
Most coupons are digital these days and that is my personal preference for using coupons at the moment. Apps like Ibotta might net you a few bucks with this extra grocery shopping so be sure to load those coupons! Both Kroger and Publix have an App which includes digital coupons and I use those all the time. I usually load coupons to my Apps when I’m watching TV and commercials come on.
If you have paper coupons, you might want to make a note of that on your shopping list so you won’t forget to use them at the checkout.
A Good Old Fashioned Written List
There’s an app for that, a grocery list I mean but I’m a big fan of a good old fashioned hand written list which is why I’m sharing with you the free printable set below. There are two styles for the grocery list in this printable set, depending on how you like to organize.
There are many apps on your Smart Phone which will allow you to create a list including Our Groceries Shopping or AnyList: Grocery Shopping but know there are In-App purchases for the free features. Most grocery store apps now have a list feature and you can send the items you want from the store straight to that list then use the list for your shopping. I love the one on the Publix site.
Plan you holiday cooking based on the activities you have planned for the season. Mark on your calendar which activities those will be.
Collect all of the recipes you will be using into one place.
Jot down the ingredients needed for each recipe including the amount so you can see if you need to buy those items.
Make your grocery list.
Load digital coupons.
Go grocery shopping.
Come back home feeling well organized and ready to face the holiday season.
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