This is so simple I hesitated to send it but since I started flying you have always told me to plan it!
So every week I take a sheet of paper, turn it side ways and write four headings across the top, “misc.”, “meat”, “dairy”, “menu”; underneath meat and dairy I add 2 more headings, “fresh” and “frozen” while under menu I write the days of the week.
I let misc have a column to itself. Then I pick up the store circular and see what is on sale.
If Ricotta and mozzarella cheese appear to be a good buy they get listed in the dairy column and one of the days gets lasagna as a meal (by the way this is fast and easy made in the crock pot) and I check to see if I have the rest of the ingredients or I need to add them to the list. If chicken is on sale it goes on the list, I think how I will prepare it (maybe garlic lime?) then I add to the list after checking the cabinets. I even put what sides will be made under the days of the week.
I add to the list some breakfast and lunch staples, although in the summer when everyone is home I will add across the bottom lunches and even snacks. When I return from the market I leave the old list on the fridge and cross off the meals as I make them. I do not always make them in the Monday through Sunday order I wrote them but I know I have the ingredients.
I am spending way less time and money since I started this. Actually describing this takes more time than actually doing it.