I absolutely hate the kitchen. It is the place I feel most uneasy and that I feel as if I am the most incompetent. From grocery shopping, to meal prep, to clean up — I hate all the aspects and dread meal times like it’s my job. Over the last four years I have managed to bring things that I am comfortable with into the Kitchen World – lists, organization, step by step directions, attempted perfection; it drives my creative husband crazy (the man can walk into the kitchen pull out whatever is in the fridge and make something completely amazing – its so hard to compete with him). As I started my SAHM journey earlier last month I realized that I now have an interesting system that others may benefit from.
My first step is deciding what we’re going to eat. I normally go major grocery shopping every other week so I try to pick 14 meals that I think will work. I scour the Internet (Pinterest, Facebook, Google, etc), a couple of cook books I have and the plethora of apps on my phone to come up with my list. I fill in the meal and the ingredients for each of the 14 days (so that I can keep track of which meals my husband stole ingredients from and I don’t start making a meal that I don’t have the things I need for). You can see the printable right here.
Next I go through my cabinets and mark off the things I already have, I also have a little whiteboard on my fridge where I try to keep track of things I know I’m going to need as I think of them. I keep track of what I need in an organized manner on a nice little piece of paper that I have transferred into a PDF for y’all. It organizes the groceries into categories so I’m not getting bread and then milk and then going back for some bagels.
When I am done with my OCD organization I hop online, I love shopping at Kroger even though it is a 40-minute drive for me each way. I go through the online coupons and load my card with whichever ones are relevant to my shopping list. Once that’s done I hop onto my iBotta app where I watch some ads and clip some offers. If you haven’t used iBotta it is awesome, it gives you cash back for things you normally buy anyways, go ahead and download it. If you use my referral code we’ll both get a $5.00 bonus for signing up and redeeming your first offer (my referral code is bxotqxc)! It’s a great way to find “extra money”– in the last three years I have made $155.45 (that’s $155.45 that I would not have had if I didn’t follow the simple steps – some stores require you to link their loyalty card to the app and automatically find your rebates for you, others make you scan the items that you have rebates on and the receipt, just follow the directions as you create your account!)
Finally I am ready to go. Grocery trips that used to take me at least an hour and a half are now done in 45 minutes or less, and that includes the time it takes me to argue with my 2 year old, better yet I have 14 meals and all the ingredients I need to make them! I let my husband decide what we’re having for dinner each night and as long as its on the list I am golden, I pull up my recipe and get my life together all without going completely insane and trying to make something on the fly.
I hope you found this useful! I know I wish I had some guidance four years ago. What are your favorite shopping tips and tricks?