How NOT To Shop From Scratch...

There's nothing worse than creating a grocery shopping list from scratch each week. So, I decided to create a master list of "keep in stock" items so that as these particular items go on sale at Publix or Target (remember, I'm boycotting Walmart), I can pick them up and always have what the majority of the family wants to eat. These are the categories I came up with:

- Breakfast
- Sammy's School Lunches
- Snacks
- On the Go (this category + leftovers will make up lunches for me and Matt)
- Dinners & Leftovers
- Pantry Staples

Step 1 was to ask the family what foods they like and don't like (the boys are the pickiest!)
Step 2 was choosing items from their lists that are located in the "outer aisle" of the grocery store, which is supposedly the healthier items to eat.

So, here are some examples of our "keep in stock" items:

Breakfast: Yogurt, Fruit, Hash Browns, Peanut Butter Toast, Bakery Muffins
Sammy's School Lunches: String Cheese, Fruit, Pizza Lunchables, Frozen PB&J Crustables
Snacks: Yogurt, Fruit, Cheese/Crackers
On the Go: Pre-made Salads, Homemade "Sandwich Kits"(like lunch meat w/condiments, etc)
Dinners & Leftovers: My plan here is to make double portions and immediately pack leftovers before eating (this will also eliminate me going back for seconds); Of course I also had to a few have "Dinner Categories":
   "Mystery Mondays" (maybe not the best name - reminds me of a school cafeteria) - but this is where I get to pick a new recipe for the family to try and this is my "keep it fresh" outlet so I don't get bored making the same dinners
   "Soupy Sundays" - basically a crockpot soup or stew we can eat immediately after church and throughout the rest of the day (also great leftovers for Monday)
   "Family Favorite Fridays" - this will most likely be pizza night or something fun for the kids
   "Traditional Tuesdays & Thursdays" - these are the weekly repeats that everyone loves (i.e. Chicken Casserole, Cheesy Rice and Chicken, etc.)
Pantry Staples: various Campbell's cooking soups, Potatoes, Rice, Canned Tomatoes and Sauces, Favorite Dinner Ingredients, Frozen Veggies, etc.

I know this seems to take a lot of time and organization but isn't it also true that the most stressful decision of the day is what to make for dinner? At least this way you will always have the majority of what you need in stock at your house and your weekly grocery trip will become quick sale pickups and fresh items (like fruit, meat, and veggies).

I don't know - thoughts from anyone else on what helps you and your kitchen sanity?

About Me

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I am a local Charlestonian, born and raised in good 'ol South Carolina. I have only been to other surrounding states within a days drive since I refuse to fly in an airplane - so let's see - that includes NC, GA, FL, and I think I may have crossed the border into VA at some point. I've been to the Bahamas 3 times (since you can get there by cruise ship) but one day I hope to visit Mexico. After my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the second love of my life is my high school sweetheart, Matt. We were married at ages 19 and 21 (I'm the younger one) and in the past 8 years have acquired two amazing kids - Sammy and Maddie. We have a fairly new member of the family, Casey, who is a black lab/shepherd/pit bull mix and is very lazy. We "McCall's" have a family motto: "McCall's never give up" (for some reason this has stuck with us all). We all have a passion for music and treasure our family time. Every moment is a gift...