Menu Binder ~ Part 3

Awwww... the grocery lists.

The main thing you need is your list of recipes. Those are the glue that holds this whole plan together. If you have those all set, this part goes really fast.

This part is almost directly taken from Sarah and Heather's menu binders which are outlined here. Sarah sets up her grocery lists by recipe, places it in a Word or Excel, and then separates the shopping list into sections of the grocery store she frequents. For example, there are separate sections for; produce, dairy, natural foods/deli (next to each other in the store), and canned goods/middle isles. This makes it easy to go through the store and know everything you need from each section in the order you would walk the store.

This is what Sarah says about her grocery lists:

Items (are) divided by quantity/item/recipe name so that it is easy to edit out a recipe or multiply it for bulk cooking. Also note that ingredients are organized by dept of the grocery store (my grocery store in the order I walk it, you’ll have to alter it for your own grocery store and habits) .

Another thing that I was inspired to take from her method is putting all of the like items together on the list. In 'Week 2' we need 5 lbs of new potatoes as they are a main part of two separate dishes, and two full heads of garlic. When listing them, I place them directly on top of one another, even though they come from different recipes.

Onions with onions, garlic with garlic, new potatoes with new potatoes... it doesn't matter where they are in the list as long as they are together so when you are in that dept you can grab everything you need for the entire week. After all, the goal is to take less time. ;)

Once you have this part done, you have a workable menu plan that you can start using right away.

A working menu plan note: I found that if I took all of the seasonal recipes I had, it made two more weeks worth of recipes... so they are all in an 8 wk rotation now and when the season is over I'll just skip from "Week 6" back to "Week 1" and I won't have to choose between recipes each week. Simplify... it's all about simplifying right now.

Last step, groceries, coming soon.

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