I have been re-reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette (bought at the thrift store of course) and Terri's post about shopping based on the pantry principle and I am thinking about changing the way I shop for groceries.
Basically the pantry principle means buying what's on sale, keeping certain things on hand at all times, and making menus based on what's in the pantry. You shop to replenish the pantry rather than to buy ingredients for specific meals.
I generally plan my menu based on what's on sale (and based on ingredients that are everyday bargains), but I shop for one week at a time and only buy what's on my list.
We get paid once a month, so even though I shop weekly, my food budget is figured monthly and then I just divide it by the number of weeks I will be shopping. I'm thinking it would be better to have the whole month in view rather than a week at a time. I can buy larger quantities that way and maybe even have one huge grocery shopping trip a month with smaller weekly trips to pick up perishables.
I am currently working on a master list of all the things I would need to keep on hand to make the majority of our favorite meals. I have my grocery lists and menus for the past 5 weeks and I am going from that. Once I have the list complete I can just make copies and check off the things I need instead of making a new list each time.
Do any of you shop based on the pantry principle? Do you have any tips for me?