Due to time and budget constraints, I have to shop one week at a time. I tried shopping for two weeks and it just meant that everyone ate more during the first week and then we were out of food.
I shop every week on Friday since we have a light school day and it is the day my dh gets paid. I think setting aside a specific time to grocery shop makes it much more manageable and much more likely to get done!
Every Thursday evening, I sit down with my menu grid and plan out the meals for the week. Since we've started Trim Healthy Mama, this means planning out breakfast, snacks and dinner for those of us on the plan. We eat the same breakfasts and snacks every week, which makes planning and shopping a lot easier. Lunch is up to the individual and dinner is planned by me and is based on how much time I'll have to cook that day.
Once the meals are in place, I take my pre-planned grocery list and mark off all of the items I need to buy for the week. My store of choice is Wal-Mart, so my grocery list is organized by aisle for the layout of the store I go to.
Lastly, I take the sale papers from the week and sit down to price match with the food that is on my list. This price matching is one reason why I shop at Wal-Mart; I can get the sale prices without having to go to multiple stores. Now with their Savings Catcher I've been doing even better at saving money there.
With any luck I get this all done on Thursday night (ha, yeah rarely) and then I can go right away Friday morning and get this deal done. If not, then I come home from Mass on Friday and
This is how I save myself the agony of 1. having to decide what to eat each day and 2. having to run to the store multiple times because I don't have all of the ingredients I need.
If you are not meal planning, then I really think you need to make it a top priority. You will be amazed at how much sanity it brings to your life!!! Also, copies of the forms I mentioned above are available in my book ;).
affiliate links included.