And yes, that photo is my grocery list. One of them. God, I love lists.

Between yesterday’s post (regarding my sudden inability to work with what I have on hand) and this week’s What’s In Your Basket? round-up, I’ve been thinking:

Do you buy what looks good (and/or is on sale) and then make a meal based around that? Or do you make a specific list of what you’d like to make and then buy what you need? Or some combination of the two?

Personally, I’m a compulsive list-maker. I need lists to function on a day-to-day basis; if I were shipwrecked, I’d be making a list in the sand and trying to do everything on it before the tide came in: find food. avoid The Others. build shelter.

So, I always make a list of what I want to make in the coming week. Sometimes it’s just a few, vague items (e.g.: chicken & veg) and I’ll throw together a couple other meals on the fly. But sometimes, like this week, it has to be a list of no less than seven extremely specific meals (e.g.: ziti with acorn squash and garlic, page 300, Vegetarian Planet).

I think February’s motto is going to be: screw creativity; I’ve got a list.

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5 thoughts on “And yes, that photo is my grocery list. One of them. God, I love lists.

  1. I have created an excel spreadsheet. On one side is a template that I fill in the meals I have planned for the week (I plan out all of our meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner). The other side is my grocery list, organized by 6 categories (produce, meat, frozen, bread, dairy, and dry). I think the whole thing is beautiful.

  2. What we do (now that we live near a couple different grocery stores, this wasn’t always an option) is look at the various sale ads and figure out that store has the best deals and the most things that we want/like. Then we built the list from there. If we can get steak at $2, we load up and then plan meals around that and freeze some. If there is something special that we want to eat, we get that too, but pretty much we buy what is on sale that we like. We always have some staples on hand that when they go on sale, we really load up on (black beans, flour, sugar, butter) so we can make pretty much anything with that. We always, always have a list though. My husband is too much of an impulse shopper to be trusted to go to the store without one.

  3. Kate: were we not already both married, I think I would propose on the spot. That is brilliant.

    Rachel: when we lived in the suburbs, with a car and more pantry space, my plan was more like yours: scan all the local sale papers, find the loss leaders, stock up on those, then go from there. Now, with no car — and living two flights up — I get as much as I can delivered from FreshDirect… except when I absolutely know I can find it cheaper elsewhere.

  4. *sigh of relief* I thought I was the only one out there who makes ridiculously detailed grocery lists! I had an excel spreadsheet too, before we moved! It was categorized by food type but also by layout of the store so that I could cross things off in order. Now I need to make another one for our new grocery stores because I tell ya, nothing feels as good as shopping when totally prepared. Rock on and fabulous blog! :)

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