Some friends shared with us that they were greatly shrinking their grocery budget by having salads for lunch! To make note of the ingredients I'll need for that week's recipes, I refer to my post-it note and the actual recipe cards and write down on my Master Grocery Lists the items I need to purchase. I made up this chart so that prior to grocery shopping I could know two things: (1) make sure we have our staple food items on hand for the week, and (2) to make sure I did not purchase unnecessarily things we already have. Here's a picture of a Costco shopping trip with the children ranging in age from about 18-months to 14-years. Currently, the age range of our children is 4-16 which makes for very different shopping than before and far easier.
Sometimes we all go shopping in the van as a family but I only go in to the store with just one daughter while Bob goes for a little drive with the younger children. Regarding space for our shopping trip items, since we have an extremely small kitchen and our home did not have a food pantry, we created one! Keeping meal planning and shopping to a simple, manageable plan has been such a blessing for our family.
Capitan may not be much to look at, but it can create an unlimited number of shopping lists that can be shared with the entire family. Grocery shopping for an entire family can be a daunting task, with requests for favorite items spread across handwritten notes on the refrigerator, text messages, and easily-forgotten verbal reminders.


Grocery Shopping List by Capitan is a free iPhone app for creating shared checklists prior to heading to the supermarket. Grocery Shopping List by Capitan is on the right track, but requires further user interface, account management, and geolocation refinements before it’s reliable enough to be used by the entire family. HEDUA – Publishers of Family Magazine, Dear Magazine, and the number one selling planner in homeschooling, The Well Planned Day!
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We have large Tupperware containers in the pantry that we fill from the 25 pound bags (stored in buckets) in the garage. Purchasing one additional item at a time does not significantly effect the grocery budget that week, but it does accumulate for back up foods and purchasing on sale saves money. I don't take the whole crew in to Wal-Mart any longer because we simply don't fit in the aisles easily with two shopping carts and a lot of walkers beside them.
I love to do the shopping, but I do like it done in one trip; preferring no to leave the house and the family over and over during the week. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links.
As new items are added to these shared lists, members are alerted via push notification, perfect for last-minute requests in the middle of a shopping trip.


So this is an area I have planned carefully for and have really tried to master for our family to the best of my ability. This saves me time and energy having a child do it, and enables her to be a valuable part of the family's functioning. We still use two shopping carts, with the 4-year-old twins in one, and the 5 and 6-year-old boys in the front of another; and a 7-year-old son riding with the boys shopping cart. And with a good plan-of-attack, it actually only takes me only 20-30 minutes per week to plan for our family of 11. I now really enjoy the one-on-one time with a daughter each week to do the shopping, and shopping with all of the children does take quite a bit more time and energy than just going with one. In fact, most all of our food we buy in large quantities from Costco and all but one container of each thing stays in the garage refrigerator and freezer.



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