Since I was a kid, one of the most fascinating phenomena to me has been grocery shopping.
Ah, the grocery store--sweet haven of Nutella, fresh bread, and the baking aisle. Is it shameful that I feel contented relief wash over me when I walk into a grocery store--like there's actually a reason to have hope in the world? Then again, this was one of my favorite shows growing up. I like to think I had no chance.
Come back, Supermarket Sweep! I have missed you greatly. And your conspicuous sweatshirt Peter Pan collars.
Recently, I have decided to keep my indulgent grocery shopping in check by keeping every receipt I get, and I have done this for a couple of reasons. For one, I can track the prices on frequently purchased items, noting when they go on sale, thus saving myself a bit of money. But also, I am attempting to cut down on my instances of: "How on earth did I justify spending FORTY extra dollars on groceries when I specifically went right after dinner so I wouldn't spend frivolously?!"
Receipt reviewing...those are dark times. I usually have some chocolate nearby to abate the pain.
I am consciously aware that I need to nip this irresponsible spending in the bud. Someday, I'm going to find myself in a family as the head of the kitchen, and it's imperative that I know how to spend our limited income wisely. And this is where I'm sure that menu planning would help me out.
I'm sure most of you are much more experienced than I am in everything that encompasses menu planning: things like dictating which recipes will show up when, re-creating leftovers, and filling up your pantry on a budget. Today, I offer no words of culinary wisdom. Today, I'm asking you for some much-needed help and advice.
What is your method of menu planning?
Do you do it at all? Why or why not? If so, what is your time frame for planning? What is your format for planning--spreadsheets or a good ol' fashioned laundry list? Do you use coupons, or do you think they are they a convenient excuse for wasting budget money? How often to you purchase "splurge" items? What convenience items are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of cost? How often do you utilize a farmer's market?
I'm so eager to hear from you! I know your answers are going to vary, depending on your lifestyle and family size. But that's the beauty of this discussion--there's no right or wrong way to do it...unless you're approaching your shopping the way I am!
Thanks for your thoughts, dear friends. I don't want to be thrust out into the murky waters of menu preparation without a flashlight. Just think--YOU could be my flashlight, and together we can escape the clutches of frivolous spending and find the path to culinary and familial greatness!
Too much metaphor? Perhaps. Hints at mental instability? You bet. Aren't you glad you stopped by?!
Praying earnestly for the return of Supermarket Sweep,