Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Menu/Grocery List Clipboard

I am a firm believer that every one's grocery bill can be pared down with just a little bit of organization and time involvement. If you take the time to plan out your weekly menu by looking at what you have on hand and what is on sale for the week at your favorite grocery store, you can bring your grocery bill down to a more manageable level for you and your family.

This simple routine might only take 30 - 60 minutes of your time each week, but it can save you a lot of time and money once you get to the grocery store. It you stick to your list you will keep yourself on task and hopefully avoid any impulse purchases that might sneak into your cart.

Every Sunday afternoon, I grab the newspaper, my recipe binder and my clipboard and plan out our week of meals.

I don't have a fancy print out for my menu and grocery list, I use the tons of notebook paper that I have in my office from the Back-to-School sales. I think I got most of it for free or mere pennies.

My Menu
On the left side, I list options for our breakfasts and lunches and then I list the days of the week with meals for each day. I list the days, because it gives me a good visual, but you can see I switched Monday and Wednesday, because I realized a scheduling conflict. I keep the menu flexible.

My Grocery List
On the right side, I list my shopping list. I refer to the recipes that I'll be making that week to see what is needed versus what I have on hand in the pantry, freezer or fridge.

I take the clipboard with me to the store and cross items off my list as I shop. I am infamous for forgetting things at the store, so this has helped cut down extra trips later in the week.

The clipboard is also handy for holding any coupons that I'll use that day.

I also have a very simple coupon organizer that I found at Walmart years ago. It is perfect for the amount of coupons that I use.

As a side note, I saw clipboards on sale for $1 this week at either Staples or Office Max.

How do you manage your menu and grocery list? Do you agree that with a little organization, you are able to keep your grocery shopping within your budget?

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This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life as MOM.


  1. I think different stages of life call for different strategies. When my mom was raising five kids on a tiny budget, she ALWAYS had a menu planned for the week and taped to the fridge. We might not like what we saw, but we knew it's what we were going to eat. Now that my folks are retired empty nesters, they are a lot more flexible in their meal planning. She still has a general idea, but when Dad comes home and wants to go out to eat, it's ok. For my husband and I, who have no kids, we base our meals on what we have. If I find a great deal on ground beef, I stock the freezer. Ditto with chicken breasts. Right now I have a plethora of ground turkey that we're working our way through and I'm trying to find recipes to use it up on. Dinner usually isn't decided upon until noon (and sometimes later), but it's always based upon the stockpile of stuff I've gotten on sale. And by the way, I've had a lifelong weakness for clipboards. :-)

  2. Yes - I plan my grocery list and weekly menu at the same time. I use coupons, and it takes some time (even with helpful websites) to get everything on a list and organized. Then I basically meal plan based on what I'm buying that week. I have a folder with the store flyers and scrap paper, and I have cancelled check accordion files for my coupons. I also only use cash for groceries (and other things). I hope the cash-only thing is going well for you, and thanks for all your helpful hints!

  3. We do it a very simple way (we do need to invest more time into it because sometimes we miss thing): we discuss it over breakfast on Satruday. That's it. The problem is that we forget things. We do need to write our list down.

  4. Lately I always have a menu and a grocery list. I use small tablet for my menu that has sticky on the back so I can stick to refridgerator. That way I and hubby always know what is planned for the week. I plan the menu on Thursday night because I get a weeks grocery money on fridays. I plan the menu from what is in the house and what is in the store ads. My grocery list is usually written on white printer paper that is left over from printing clipping my coupons. This list and any coupons I use are put into a zip loc baggy for each store I go to. I go shopping on Friday usually before lunch. The new ads come out Sunday and hopefully if there is any grocery money left and there are good deals I may make another trip to the store when we pass by.
    That is how I deal with it and I know it saves us money plus we are having more variety in recipes because of planning. Hope that you will visit me some time

  5. When we had 6 kids in the house eating, it was a nightmare. We were at the grocery store every week. Cooking was like an assembly line.
    Now we are down to 1 child and it's a pleasure to cook and also shop.


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