Step 7: Put the Groceries Away

For now, you can do this however you want. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. I am sharing the tips in the post for those of you who have followed along with the previous steps and are motivated enough to “go the extra mile.”

* Put frozen foods away first.

* If you bought meat/fish/poultry that needs to be put into the freezer, put that away next. If you bought it in bulk and it needs to be repackaged into smaller amounts, I would suggest putting it into the fridge until you have everything else organized.

* Put away the stuff that needs to be refrigerated (dairy, produce, etc.)

* Put away the rest.

THEN, if you’re ambitious and love the idea of saving yourself time and energy throughout the week, try the following:

* Repackage bulk meats, if necessary. If I get a bulk case of chicken breasts, for example, I repackage them in small ziplock bags with two breasts in each bag. If I have a huge case of ground beef, I repackage that in small ziplocks as well. OR…

* Precook ground meats. If you use ground beef or turkey in a lot of your recipes, fry it all up at once with the seasonings you usually use. Let it cool, then repackage it in smaller amounts and put it in the freezer.

* Do the same thing with chicken breasts. Chop it up and fry it so it’s ready for casseroles or other dishes. Package it in smaller amounts and freeze.

* Chop up veggies that you are planning to eat raw during the week. I have found that celery, in particular, lasts a lot longer when we do this. Invest in some good quality storage containers. I store sliced celery in a ziplock and just leave the zipper slightly open at one end. It lasts a good two weeks this way. Carrot sticks are stored in a plastic container with a little bit of water in it.

* Prepare all your lettuce for the week. I like to make salad a lot. I use a mixture of green leaf, red leaf, iceberg lettuces, and spinach (if it was on sale). When we get home, my daughter washes all the lettuce leaves, spins them in the salad spinner, tears them up into bite-size pieces, and we store them in a good quality bin I bought specifically for this purpose. It has an air vent that allows the perfect amount for lettuce, and this also lasts a good two weeks.

* If there are other snacks or dishes that you want to have on hand for the week, go ahead and make them on grocery day, if you have the time. I have often done this with things like puddings, gelatin salads, marinated salads, homemade cookies or bars, granola, etc. This is not a necessity, by any means, but if your grocery day happens to be a day that works well as a general food prep day, take advantage of it and you’ll reap the rewards for the rest of the week.

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