The Shopping List

0 Comments | September 21, 2014

The Shopping List

Nothing will save you more money than The Shopping List!!!


My best friend and I often fall off the wagon and fail to create our lists, but we try to keep each other motivated by creating menus on Sunday night, creating the shopping list, and keeping our store visits to once a week. (Ha. But we try!!!) 


  • Look through all your cupboards, fridge, freezer and notice what is in abundance/leftover and create your menus based on those items.

  • You may find you have a ton of pasta/beans/leftover frozen roast you can use to create a menu item!

  • Try to create as many menu items as possible with what you already have. This will help with waste, and to put those tired looking veggies to use. (I usually make soup on Mondays with all the leftover veggies looking wilted in fridge!

  • Create your menus.  Look at your calendar for the week and plan strategically! If you have a busy night with sporting events, working late, etc, plan a crockpot or a ‘night off’.

  • Think of ‘nights off’ cooking like a professional athlete plans ‘rest days’ into the training schedule! Not cooking can be an important part of cooking, if that makes sense! You need to make sure you take care of the caretaker and plan your week out accordingly.  Try to think of feeding your family a balanced diet based on the whole month, not necessarily each meal/day.  If you get enough fruits, vegetables, fresh food, home cooked meals prepared with variety over the month, you will be just fine to schedule in  some rest nights with frozen meals, ordering in, the rescue meal. 

  • Think strategically! Instead of not knowing what is for dinner on any given night, then feeling like life got the best of you when driving home and ordering a pizza, take control! Look at your calendar.  Notice your heavy work days.  On a day when a big project is due, plan a ‘night off’ if budget allows.  All day you will feel in control, and feel happy because your whole family will know “7pm, frozen pizza” or whatever.  You may be able to schedule that glass of wine and a slice of frozen pizza on your hardest days!

  • When making your menus, try to mix it up.  I generally do one red meat night,  one chicken/fish night, and the rest are usually vegetarian (legumes are an outstanding choice for protein, and are SO cheap, even if bought organic!)

  • Veggies, veggies, veggies. Plan more veggies into your meals! Even if you just steam a bag, or eat them raw cut up with hummous.  You can plan an entire meal without cooking! Just have ‘party food’ which is a really great way to get your kids to eat healthy.  Cut up raw fruits and vegetables go down beautifully at dinner with bean dips, finger sandwiches, etc. You may be able to plan a whole meal around leftover veggies cut up, cubes of leftover chicken, whole wheat crackers, cheese, any yogurts that are approaching ‘sell by’ date.

  • Check sales before you start to make your list. Go to website of your favorite stores and see what’s on sale. Usually what is in season is on sale because that produce is abundance! So if you shop with the sales, not only will you be likely to buy more seasonal produce, you are probably saving money too! And since abundant produce usually is grown locally, you are helping the environment buy buying fruits and veg that do not need to be shipped very far.  Now you are an Eco-Warrior too? Look at you!!!!

  • When meal planning, try to think of my rule of thumb: progress, not perfection.  If you are someone who never cooks home meals, make a goal of cooking at least one home cooked meal a week.  If you cook three nights a week, maybe make a goal of cooking four nights a week.  Make a deal with yourself that if you hit your goal, you get a treat—time to yourself, a bubble bath, meditation, or a nice glass of wine with all the money you are gonna save by making your shopping lists! Please email me anytime if you want to report your savings or need help with a shopping list!

  •  Check Renata’s Kitchen on Facebook every Monday for “Monday Menus” if you are having a hard time finding ideas.  I make my menus Sunday nights and usually post them on Mondays. If you would like me to send you past weekly menus, write me at and I will do my best to email you back!

  • I will be posting Monday Menus to Meal Planning each week! So if you want ideas, feel free to steal mine or post your own for others to use! I live to help others in the kitchen, and am delighted to get help too! I love to hear what’s cooking in your kitchens.

  •  Got your list? STICK TO IT! This will be your biggest money saving tool.  If you are making five home cooked meals a week (bless you if you achieve this one!) then I  guarantee you will not need as much snack food for yourself or for your kids. 

  •  Before you leave the house, grab your reusable bags. Better yet, keep them in the car! Eco Warrior strikes again!

  • Click here to sign up for Renata’s Kitchen Newsletter for regular updates to Meal Management and more!


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