When it comes to eating on a budget, living a balanced life, and making healthy food choices, having a game plan is key. Before making a grocery list, write down the meals you want to make this week. Buying for the week means you’ll make fewer shopping trips and buy only the items you need. Here are some basic tips for creating your menu and grocery list:
Look in your freezer, cabinets, and refrigerator. Make a note of what you currently have on hand. You can save money by using these items in the upcoming week’s meals.
Use a worksheet, such as the Create a Grocery Game Plan Worksheet (provided by choosemyplate.com) to plan your meals and figure out what items you need to buy.
Create a list of recipes to try. Find new ideas for healthy and low-cost meals based on what you have on hand, foods your family enjoys, and foods that are good buys.
Be sure to include some family favorites along with the new recipes.
Think about your schedule. Choose meals you can prepare easily on your busiest days. Save recipes that take longer for days off.
Grocery List Basics
Use your list of weekly meals to create a list of foods and beverages you will need to buy. Don’t forget to include foods like fruits, vegetables, and milk that might not be part of a recipe but are basics for healthy eating. You can write your list on scratch paper, enter it into a computer or a free mobile app. Keep an ongoing grocery list in your kitchen, computer or a mobile app and add items as you run out.