THE SHOPPING LIST
yes, you DO have to make one LOL
I used to shop from memory.
The problem was that my memory wasn't as great as I thought it was and I would arrive home to find myself stuck with ten tins of tomatoes and nothing else!
I used to cook from what I had bought which was often a disaster because I would be lacking a key ingredient and end up either buying it at twice the price from a convenience store or giving up and buying a takeaway. Now I buy for what I am going to cook and usually have all the ingredients to hand (of course there is still the odd dash to the 7-eleven, I am human after all LOL)
WHAT GOES ON THE LIST?
Your shopping list will be made up of these things:
This is usually the main ingredient for a meal and is most likely going to be some form of meat (unless you are a vegetarian/vegan!).
These are things that you use in a lot of different recipes, eg tinned tomatoes, onions etc. These are things that are worth buying in bulk because you know that you will use them.
SOME FROZEN, TINNED OR DRIED INGREDIENTS & SUPPLIES
There's nothing more annoying than going to make a meal only to find that you are missing a key ingredient or that the fresh ingredient that you bought last week is now a soggy mess in the bottom of your refrigerator (of course if you had used your list correctly you would have avoided this situation but we all make mistakes, right??!!).
I use a lot of chopped onions in my cooking - in curries, pasta sauces, chilli etc. I now buy a 500g (1lb) bag of frozen chopped onions. Now I don't have to worry about green things sprouting from my onions and (best of all) someone else has already peeled and chopped them for me!
Other useful ingredients include a jar of crushed garlic, tinned new (tiny) potatoes to add to casseroles and tinned stir fry veggies to add to stir fries and Asian meals. Chunky style frozen veggies are great to add to any cooked dish and tinned tomatoes can be used in just about any dish too add flavour or provide bulk.
DON'T FORGET YOUR CORE GROCERIES!!
In the rush to buy all the goodies that you will need to get your meal plan underway don't neglect all the other grocery items. I've found that it helps to keep a typed list of all the things that I always buy like cat food, coffee and washing powder etc and then add the other items.
You can either type this up yourself or set up a master grocery list with one of the online supermarkets like Woolworths and print it off - this has the advantage of giving you the prices too.
Of course you can always try shopping online but bear in mind the delivery charges.