"A man's heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grocery Shopping Montana Style! PART ONE

Well, shopping here in Montana for me is similar in some ways and vastly different in others. The major similarity is that I do my big shopping day once a month, and there is quite a bit of preparation needed. The preparation usually takes a couple hours, but it makes our full day run very smoothly.
My shopping always starts the day before. Here is my list of preparations:
- First I need to clean out the fridge and check off the items I will need.
- I have 3 pantries (I know that is a lot, but they are a bit small, so I needed more space.) I have two upstairs and one downstairs. I use what items I can from the basement to stock my upstairs pantry and then take inventory of what I have and what I need.
- I clean out our deep freezer which I have sectioned out beef, chicken, wild game and misc. and mark off on my grocery list what I will need to refill it.
Here is a picture of our family planner. It was beginning to overflow, so I now have one for household and one for home school. If you haven't noticed...I am a huge list maker. Here is my grocery list and my menus for the month. I plan my menus a month at a time and usually do that the day before as well. I fill in Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, but it is used as a guide and so that I know what meals I have all the ingredients for. I stick as closely to it as possible, but it never fails that we will have a day now and again that we need to do something else. In that case, I just cross off the meal I used and replace it with the one I didn't.
My next step is preparing the kids. These are fabulous little clipboards we made at MOPS, and I hung one in each the boys and girls room. Here I will write notes and reminders to them. It also has their check list for their cleaning, so they see it everyday before they come out for breakfast. (Their rooms must be tidy before they come out in the morning.) On grocery day, I will always write a little reminder to work diligently and include any little tasks that need to be accomplished before we leave.

We work together to set out all their clothes. Gabrielle is in charge of the diaper bag...which also has a list in it making it quite easy for her to get it packed. I always include a crayon roll and coloring book for the little girls.
My Yukon has limited space and this particular day, I asked my little sister Katy to come along, so I needed to leave the boys with their dad. We packed them sack lunches, schoolwork and a few activities to hopefully keep them out of his hair.
Since we need to travel an hour into the nearest "big" town (if you consider 5000 big...I think that is the population. Our population, I think, is 750!), I try to schedule in everything I can, so I also had a Prenatal appt. at 9:45. This meant we needed to leave by 8:15 so that we could drop off the boys and get in there before my appt.
Tomorrow I will post pictures of our shopping day, the chaos that always happens when we get home and our stocked pantry.
I will say that the forcast temperature was to be between 10 below and 40 below zero and my groceries ended up filling my living room floor...so stay tuned for tomorrow ;)


Too Many Kids In The Bathtub said...

Ok, first I have to say that ...I LOVE YOU!
Second, I am so thankful for the planner you made me like 4 years ago! I USE IT ALL THE TIME!!!!
Thidly, i see tht you have tums on your list. It made me giggle b/c the other day you were telling me about needing to take tums all the time!


Too Many Kids In The Bathtub said...

PS. Love the clipboards!!! I may make some, but I might get carried away and "color code" them! :)

Shannon said...

Oh my gosh! I keep wanting to get this meal planning thing down, but I just don't do it. I did shop for the week today and plan to write out a plan for meals and try to stick to it. Between you and Tara and Quinn I am gonna end up doing this binder thing! I just keep thinking I won't really use it, but the more I see you all using yours I realize how wrong I am!! I love it. I have got some of the steps in place already, but just do not have it all in a binder.... duh... seems obvious that it would work better if it was all in one spot! I keep thinking that it is best kept on my computer, but I am not gonna tote my laptop around the store now am I?! The binder really is soooo smart. Can't wait to see the rest of this posting. And there is no way I could handle that frigid cold!

Too Many Kids In The Bathtub said...

You are such a Texan Shannon....wait....so am I!

Rossie said...

Believe me Tara...I love you more!! And you better believe it was soooooooo hard not to color code mine...lol...you make me laugh!!
And yes Shannon, I don't know what I would do without my binder ;) Let me know if you need pages for it...I have just about anything. I don't use everything, but I keep them just in case!
And to my 2 dear TX friends...I'm a Cali girl...ugh...it is FREEZING and I DON'T like it ;)
Love ya girls!

Debbie said...

Life is so similar for us. We have 5 children that we load in the van and head down the road 60 miles (an hour and a half) to buy our groceries and make an entire day for errands and doctors appointments. It is hard on the children, but we try and make it as enjoyable as possible. Our town is 250 people and the town I travel to is 50,000. We are also dealing with the extreme cold and long lasting winters, so we don't worry about the food spoiling:)

Too Many Kids In The Bathtub said...

Do you go grocery shopping for "perishables" every week?

I am really revamping my "town day" to utilize only being out of the house once a week

brooke lynn said...

wow..talk about being organized!
we just moved to a town of 600 and it takes a day to go to town and go grocery shopping!
thanks for sharing!

Cheryl said...

Hi Rossie!

I just read the Part 1 of your grocery shopping process...WHEW!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is SO HELPFUL!!! It got me thinking how I can use another closet I have downstairs to use as a second pantry! WHAT FUN!! = ) I wouldn't be able to buy all the meet because we don't have a big freezer, but we have talked about going in on one with my parents that live close by. Hmmmm....And I LOVE your binders! Beautiful!