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Home >> Grocery Shopping Tips >> Step 4: High Yield

 Menu Ideas & Planning
Menu Ideas & Planning

1000s of great recipes and menu ideas


Step # 4 High Yield Weekly Planner

How much more will you likely spend if you shop hungry rather than on a full stomach?

A. 8% more
B. 10% more
C. 13 % more
D. 15% more

Answer B

Studies show that people spend about 10% more if they shop on an empty stomach compared to a full one.

This chapter deals with two fundamental ideas of control, which form the foundation for shopping.

1. You can�t control what happens around you, but you can control how you choose to respond.

2. You must be in control of yourself before you can control your shopping

Control Point #1 You can�t control what happens around you, but you can control how you choose to respond

The truth is obvious. The only thing you can control is yourself. But energy spent worrying about what is outside of your control takes away from the energy needed to focus on your shopping. Shopping is hard enough that way it is. Don�t play it with part of your brain tied behind your back. You cannot control: the store prices, the product availability, family members getting the cold or flu,

When I began to design The Smart Shopping Cart: 8 Steps to Grocery Savings, I had to say to myself, �self.� What do I first need to do when putting a plan together? I can hear my mother tell me before you make out your weekly menu, what is everyone doing.

Wow, what a relief. Easy, I�ll design an easy weekly planner? Then I know what everyone is doing. That makes putting a menu plan a whole lot easier when I know who will be home for dinner. It only takes me about 10 to 15 minutes each week to do my weekly planner. Why not?

The first step is to think about the week ahead. It does not matter which day you consider the beginning of the week, I happen to use Monday. Use the day you do your main weekly grocery shopping as a starting point. I happen to like to shop early Sunday morning when there are few people at the grocery store.

Fill in your family's planned weekly activities. Have fun and be creative. Use your own shorthand, color-coding or symbols. Makes it easy for you to picture how the week will be filled.

Below is a sample of a blank weekly planner.

Weekly Planner SampleNow I fill in a column listing all the meals I will need to cook for the week. 

The first time I did this it looked like a lot of cooking, until I considered that most households have their own routine. In my case, �The Usual� breakfast and lunches refer to the kid's cereal, juice, sandwiches, chips, and soda as well as the parent's coffee, breakfast bars, wheat toast, juice and fruit. (In my example, the Cliff and Connie do not take their lunch to work.) I want you to consider your own house, fill in the easy meals first and then go on to the ones that require more planning.

Now I like to start filling out my menu and grocery list. I start my list with the items I�ll need for those easy, routine meals. Most of you already to do this level of planning, so this should be easy. Be sure to look in your kitchen to see what's needed to fill in the gaps for next week. Don't forget the little details like butter, jam, mustard, mayo, milk, etc. Since these meals rarely change much you can feel confident stocking up on the non-perishable items from this basic list.

Dinners are the last step. This is where you can get more creative! Use your cookbooks, magazines, friends suggestions, a great web site like, or family favorites when deciding on your menus. Pay attention to the time available to prepare each meal, the time needed to complete each recipe, and the skills of the person who will be doing the cooking.

In my example, the two one-spouse dinners, you may need them to be easy or partially store bought to fit the time available. Also if the stay home adult is not the regular cook of the house, they need the meals easy to make. You can range arrange them meals from Boboli Pizza with a packaged salad to Dominoes delivered! Knowing ahead of time that you will need a purchased meal makes it much easier to deal with. It's no longer a meal to settle with, it's a relaxing break to look forward to!

In the weeknight dinners for four, you must consider time constraints. If dinnertime is 7 p.m. and the cook gets home at 6 p.m., there isn't much time for long cooking times or fancy preparation, unless a spouse or children can lend a hand. But 30-minute menus can be creative too! Think pasta, whole meal salads, easy casseroles, steaks and chops that cook quickly, stir-fry, crock-pot meal, etc.

However, the weekend offers us more time for food preparation. The romantic dinner for two in our example is the perfect opportunity for trying out a new recipe, slow roasting a large meal, flexing your baking skills, or experimenting with an exotic ingredient that the children may not tolerate or appreciate. You may choose to cook large portions of casserole type foods for freezing, saving you even more time and energy for the next week!

After choosing your menus for the week, be sure you've listed all the needed ingredients on your grocery list. Keep your weekly plan and grocery list with you for reference when you go shopping. After shopping post it for the family each week, so everyone knows what to expect. You might consider soliciting the spouse or children's help in making the choices. Kids know what they like, why not let them help out by giving them each one night a week to choose a meal (with your nutritional editing of course!).

Control Point # 2 � You Must Be in Control of Yourself Before You Can Control Your Grocery Shopping

Whey you�re �in control of yourself� you are composed, thinking clearly and confidently, and aware what is happening both inside and outside of you. You are �free� to trust yourself and allow your natural abilities and skills to shine. When you go to the grocery store you don�t want your mind cluttered and with everything moving fast-forward.

You menu planner is your confidence builder. It allows you to prepare your meals simply and easily. It allows you to shop smart and wise. It allows you to save money.

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