So, a friend has asked how I have been able to shop without a menu plan. Well, honestly, I didn't know I needed one. Growing up, my mother always went grocery shopping on Saturday mornings by herself. Daddy was stuck with us kids while she was gone for hours. I recall her sitting down with all the grocery flyers, looking at what was on sale and making her list of things to purchase at each store.
I never understood her method. It always seemed like a waste of time and gas to drive all over creation to save a few scents on a couple of items. And I never understood how she knew what she needed for our meals.
For me, planning what to buy always went by what I needed. A lot of our foods require the same ingredients (like pasta sauce, cabbage rolls, stuffed peppers, for example), and those are the things I would constantly pick up. When we would run low on something or use something up, I would add it to my list and be sure to get it when I went shopping. When I found a new recipe to try, I would add the few ingredients I needed on my list. I'd also check through the flyers (of the two stores I shop at) to see what they had on sale that week and add any more items to my list.
Recently though, I've gotten frustrated by the lack of variety in our meals and my constant wondering of what to make. In came the idea of actually menu planning. Still haven't gotten as exact as a lot of you, but I'm working on it. I try to pick meals according to the weather (i.e. too hot to turn on the oven), what we've got going on during the day and in the evenings (i.e. I'm going to be gone all day), and what meat we've eaten last (i.e. we had chicken on Thursday, so beef on Friday would be a good choice). Also, I try to pick things I know we'll all eat or have some leftovers that the kids can eat with things that only Hubby and I like.
So I'm trying to pick a little bit ahead but it's still hard. Sometimes I just want to pick that night. lol Guess I'm stubborn like that. ;) The battle with my nemesis continues....