Before each monthly grocery trip, I always shop my fridge, freezer and pantry first. You never know what you already have that may save you money on groceries. Once I have made my menu plan and have compiled my list of needed ingredients for the month, I look at everything that is already on my shelves. As I find the ingredients needed, I cross them off my list. It is so neat to get a bit of "shopping" done before I even leave the house. I do the same thing with my fridge and freezer. I make sure that I pull everything out of my freezer chest, so that nothing is left hidden from me.
As I go through everything, I take stock of what pantry staples we are out of or running low on. I add those items to my list a well. Keeping a stocked pantry means I never have to run to the store for that one item. Don't you hate when you have to do that?
By taking stock of what you already have, you can get almost half of your shopping done before you even step foot out your front door. This is going to allow you to cut much from your monthly grocery budget. Check out expiration dates as well on condiments and other such things in your fridge. Take note, so that the things that are going to expire can be used up first.
I also take this time to clean out my fridge with my all-purpose cleaner. At the end of the month when things are pretty bare, it is very easy to wipe down the shelves in both the fridge and freezer. Keeping a clean fridge and freezer helps to keep things organized and cut down on wasted food. I find that when my fridge is clean and organized, I take a bit more care when I restock it after shopping. Keeping it organized means you won't have things hiding in the back that go unused.
So as you gear up for shopping this month (or how ever often you shop), try to shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer first. You will be surprised what you already have on hand.
You can find this month's grocery hauls on my Youtube channel :)
and this month's menu plan here.