It’s that time of the month where I’m preparing for the next months meal planning & grocery haul. A month is a long time to shop for I know, but if you read/watch last months grocery haul you will see the reason I now do this is not only do I save a lot of money ($160 per month compared to doing weekly), but also it has made life a lot more simple saving a lot more time weekly. I have more time and money to spend doing ‘fun’ things instead!
I do it all (including with household items eg nappies, toilet paper, shampoo etc) for $300 + $100 split over the upcoming weeks for anything we run out of and fresh fruit/veg. If there is ever an unexpected expense (people over) then I can pull money from another budgeted area if need be, but 98% of the time everything is within that budget.
So in preparation for my grocery shop I complete my meal planning for the month. That includes all meals, snacks and school lunchbox packing. Meal planning is super important for me as again it has simplified my life immensely over the last 2 years and it also helps me stick within my budget. Meal planning is the first thing I recommend to any busy mum just trying to make life more simple. If done well it will save you so much time in your day, especially when it comes to preparing dinners. If your unfamiliar with what meal planning is then check out my meal planning for beginners to get you started for the basics. > Get FREE the Monthly Meal Planner Printable
What is a Grocery Inventory ?
To make my meal planning run even smoother I have a ‘Grocery Inventory List’ for my home. My background is management so I kind of manage my home out of habbit. I’m just that type of person that likes things to run smooth lol Sounds probably too full on, but I PROMISE it is a great tool to have to again help save you time and keep the reigns on that budget. By doing a grocery inventory for your home you have better knowledge on the qty of an item you need for the time you need your groceries to last. What I use is not your typical complicated stocktake inventory you would have in a business (so don’t panic), it is a simple list of everything you regularly have in your home along with the qty I like to have ‘stocked’. This makes doing my shopping list easy as I can quickly refer to my list to know how much I should have of something to last the duration needed (in my case 4 weeks). Its so super quick to use once set up.
How To Set Up A Grocery Inventory
Once you set up your grocery inventory it will be good to use for as long as you want. Sometimes mine changes slightly between winter and summer due to the type of food we eat, but otherwise it stays the same. Follow the basic steps below to do your initially setup:
1. Print Off Inventory Sheet - If you do not have one made up yourself you can get my Household Grocery Inventory List Printable here to get you started. It covers not only food and drink but also all other areas in my home for things I need to buy in a grocery shop eg bathroom, laundry, garden etc.
2. Listing Your Grocery Items - Start filling in names in each section with the items you usually have in each area eg the fruits you keep in your fridge.
3. Fill IN QTY – Next to each item write the qty of that item you need to last the duration of your grocery period (mine is 4 weeks) This becomes your referral when you do your grocery list .
4. Calculate Your Grocery List – Start making your shopping list by checking each item you think you need to buy against your grocery inventory and ‘order’ as needed. For example I know that I need 2 boxes of muesli bars to last me the month for Josephs school lunches and home snacks. So If I see I only have 1 box in the pantry then I know I need to add 1 box to my grocery list to buy!
So as you can see it may take you a little bit of time to set up the first day, but from then on instead of trying to figure out how much of everything you need to last until next shop, you can quickly just do the calculation. It is especially helpful when it comes to my lunch box meal planning!
Let me know in the comments if you have something similar ? Is it even something you would think of doing ? I hope this idea will help you ‘simplify a busy Mumma's life’ too.