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Shopping Lists/Kitchen Notebooks


Jamie Lee
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I know there are websites devoted to showing "found" shopping lists... and there has even been a thread discussing "How we shop" here on eG...

But nothing thrills me more than finding a discarded list from the previous owner of my actual cart.

I use "steno notebooks" to make shopping lists, keep menu ideas, create recipes - and I never throw them out. I love looking back through them, either to remind me of favorite dishes past or new ideas I've jotted down.

I would love to see other eGulleter's lists - especially from far and wide.

It can be a tad embarrassing - your pedestrian secrets may be revealed :laugh: but I think it would be fascinating.

I know most of us go to the store/market and just look for what looks good. But surely, we also have some idea of the basics we need, and ingredients for a dish we want to make.

Pictures, please! I don't have a scanner, so you will have to make do photographed pages from my lastest "steno" book...

First, an everyday grocery list... i.e. the local chain market.

gallery_51818_5217_73246.jpg

Yes, there's ice cream (to go w/ the strawberries!)...

A note on my shorthand: Crossed out = purchased (duh). Circled = forgot, missed, looked bad, couldn't find i.e. didn't get. Check Mark = look for it, evaluate (you'll see this on later lists esp. to the asian market...)

I separate lists by market: Asian, butcher, fish, hispanic, etc.

One of my first lists to the big asian market nearby: (Note I tried to copy the thai names of ingredients - boy, was I glad I did!)

gallery_51818_5217_296937.jpg

Next, a page of recipes.... ideas... (and yes, thats a recipe for "Quick Key Lime Pie" using sweetened condensed milk and COOL WHIP (gasp!)) BTW, it didn't suck! :laugh:

gallery_51818_5217_362309.jpg

OK, I've shown you some of mine.. now show me (us) yours!

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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I love my daily lists. You can see a sample here (and if you go through the rest of the topic, you'll see more of them!). They include not just food related things, but the rest of my life, and I use the slips of paper because they are here, and otherwise would simply get recycled and not reused before recycling. But, you've got me thinking about stashing a few month's worth in an envelope so I can see just what I've accomplished.

Although I entertain a lot, and do not keep an entertaining notebook, I have taken to listing on our calendar, who was here and what I served, so I know how things worked out.

But, for as much as I have on my daily list, sometimes other foods at the market look better, or the weather precludes a certain activity that was listed on my daily list. But, I can't think of a day when "drywalling" hasn't been on my list ( :blink: ).

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Snowangel:

I do remember your lists fondly. They are endearing.

My notebooks started out as a convenience (all list/ideas/notes in one place) but have become a fun read and glance at the past.. what cuisines (or not!) did i cook that week? I need to start dating them.

On a non-food note... it cracks me up how often "Air Freshner" (I use the candle burning kind), "TP" (aka Toilet paper) and "PT" (aka Paper towels) show up! Not sure what that exactly says about me... :shock:

Come on the rest of you! Let's see your lists! (No fair re-writing them!)

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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gallery_6375_3224_572168.jpg

I'll play, and I hang my head. This is one primitive list -- check out the purple felt tip on paper napkin. Truth is, I'm not a list maker in any part of my life, and I should be -- maybe I'd accomplish something!

I just wander into my tried and true Asian grocery, supermercado or Caputo's and buy what looks good and is on sale. I write a list like this one when there are a few items I can't forget. Viz: Cat food, toilet paper, gin etc. I'm pretty sure this will be the Regrettable Shopping List on this thread.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Cigs, Dark Lady? :blink: I am a list maker. I have endless lists. I have a whiteboard in the kitchen that I jot down stuff I need when I run out. I then transfer that to a paper list to take with me to the store. I make lists of what to bring to the cottage. Not only what I have on hand, but what I need to buy when I get there. I don't think I've ever left a grocery store with only what is on my list though.

I think Ive got about 5 lists going right now for Thanksgiving this weekend. I shall try to remember to take pics of them.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I keep a couple pads of postit notes on my desk. Lists go on those--grocery lists, todo lists, lists of things I want to cook, recipe scraps copied from the internet. These accumulate on my desk and in my pockets until I throw them out :raz: I envy all you people with notebooks and stuff, I could never keep that going. And I have a sneaking suspicioun it's going to come around to bite me in the rear end when I try and find that recipe for that thing I made 6 months ago...for now there are so many different things I want to try that I rarely make anything reasonably complicated more than once. :smile:

Kate

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Maggiethecat:

I ADORE your list! Gin, Cigs and catfood. :laugh: The only reason my lists don't contain Vodka is because I (unfortunately) live in a state that punishes you by making you go to a "state" liquor store for any alcohol over a certain %.

Hmmm... gin, cigs, candles - I see a hot nite about to happen!

Thanks so much for posting! :biggrin:

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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I keep a couple pads of postit notes on my desk.  Lists go on those--grocery lists, todo lists, lists of things I want to cook, recipe scraps copied from the internet.  These accumulate on my desk and in my pockets until I throw them out :raz:  I envy all you people with notebooks and stuff, I could never keep that going.  And I have a sneaking suspicioun it's going to come around to bite me in the rear end when I try and find that recipe for that thing I made 6 months ago...for now there are so many different things I want to try that I rarely make anything reasonably complicated more than once. :smile:

Are pics possible?

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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A few more for your amusement (and hopefully your motivation to post yourself!)

After a little experience with my asian market, my list looked like this:

gallery_51818_5217_74256.jpg

In the front of my book, I saw this (my have things changed!)

gallery_51818_5217_218141.jpg

And for humility, today's (I hope) list:

gallery_51818_5217_137188.jpg

This list is anticipation of some soup making... (albeit, easy and quick soup making)

I do understand why posting lists is a bit scary. It's actually a bit intimate. I mean, who needs to know how often I need toilet paper? Or Gold Bond powder? :laugh:

I look at my list and can hear imaginary eGullet minds thinking... So much stock? Can't she make her own? Look at all the canned goods, doesn't she know fresh is better? Why is she buying so much produce at the store, doesn't she know a farmer's market is better?

I could defend myself, but I won't! It just isn't necessary. I hope you will think so too, and will POST YOUR LISTS! :laugh::biggrin::laugh:

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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I wish I could jump in because I think I have list in every freakin' room of my house! I am on daughter's borrowed computer right now and there is no room on it for photo stuff, but I'll be watching this thread and will contribute as soon as our computer is back from rehab.

So far, my favorite list is Maggie's. Cat food, gin and cigs :wub: !

Kim

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I don't have a copy of a weekly/everyday shopping list with me, but I do have screen shots of my series of lists (yes, that's a series of lists) that I use when I'm planning a major dinner party.

First, I start with a list of recipes... I actually start with a huge Word document of recipes that I cull from the internet (I try to remember to record the source so I can properly attribute it, but I have to admit that I'm not always good about that) that I whittle down to a set that seem to work together for a menu. Those recipes are recorded, by course (and sometimes by plate/flatware requirements when I'm planning something big and think I may run out of table settings), on the first page of my spreadsheet.

gallery_47119_5150_5754.jpg

Here's a sample from last year's Halloween dinner. You can see that sometimes I rememberd to attribute the recipe, but not always. I record the multiplier for a recipe as "quantity" in case I need to double (or half) something.

Then I list all of the ingredient requirements for the recipe, by measurement:

gallery_47119_5150_58490.jpg

I try to be consisent with what I call each ingredient (e.g. "figs, dried") so that I can gather everything together when I sum up. The "total needed" column takes the quantity from the recipe list page and multiplies the ingredient quantity so that I don't forget to double (or half) something. Nothing like starting to cook an onion confit and realizing that you only have 2 onions when you need 4... :angry:

Finally, I use Excel's "pivot table" function to add up the quantities required for each ingredient:

gallery_47119_5150_44629.jpg

Usually I have to review/refine this list several times to cross off things that I already have in my pantry, but I try to include everything (even staples like salt and sugar) so I remember to check my supplies. Since I live in a state where you have to go to a liquor store to buy wine and I often need specialty items from ethnic markets or from Whole Foods, I also usually review the list and write in where I need each item.

As I'm working with the list, I use Jaime Lee's method of crossing off what I find and circling the things I can't find (or don't like the quality of).

And, just in case you don't already know that I'm a complete and utter geek, here's a sample of my cooking plan which I use to organize my time prior to (and during) the meal:

gallery_47119_5150_154887.jpg

Yes, if you look closely at the bottom of the image, you'll see tabs for 4 days leading up to the dinner. Note also that I block off time to shower and dress--I learned that one the hard way... :biggrin:

And the ultimate in cooking geekdom, my plating plan:

gallery_47119_5150_49993.jpg

This one isn't for the Halloween dinner, it was for a "deconstructed" dinner I did last spring, in this case for deconstructed French onion soup.

I tape the cooking plan and the plating plan to the cabinets the day of the meal so that I don't forget anything. I'm famous for getting up the next day and finding the carefully prepared balsamic reduction in the refrigerator, completely unused, so the plating plan keeps me on task.

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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"Desperation dinners" I love it! :raz:

And I love the printed, hole-punched, bindered lists... The geek clearly runs strong in you... lol

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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BekkiM,

I can only aspire to your level of organization! Still I will steal an idea from you - I tried to work out a shopping list that would take account of each ingredient in a recipe but couldn't work out the method - I see you simply repeat the name of the recipe - this I could likely adapt to what I am trying to do. Thanks for sharing even if I feel so INADEQUATE now. :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I was feeling inadequate after yours, Anna! :biggrin: Did you make those and print them yourself, or do you buy them from somewhere. I'm afraid the whole word/excel thing is just not going to happen for me. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Nothing exciting to show. I just jot down on a note pad what comes to mind and maybe during the week start one when I know we are out of something and need to restock. Too often the list is not with me when I shop. So much for organization.

Jamie Lee-Thanks for bringing shopping list voyeurism to EG. The fact that you got excited when seeing a previous shoppers list in the cart was a hoot.

BekkiM and Anna-OMG, amazing level of organization.

Maggiethecat-Loved the list on paper towel. Got the basics covered

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I was feeling inadequate after yours, Anna! :biggrin:  Did you make those and print them yourself, or do you buy them from somewhere.  I'm afraid the whole word/excel thing is just not going to happen for me. :biggrin:

Did them myself in Word tables - not much of a whiz at worksheets anymore. They fit my small daytimer which also serves as my calendar, credit card holder etc. so my shopping list is always with me. I still keep a running list in the kitchen on which I can jot down stuff and then just add to my daytimer list before I shop. I am not particularly organized just don't trust my memory any more. :biggrin: Plus I HATE backtracking in the supermarket so I like to have the list according to the store layout and then I can get in and out quickly.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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BekkiM,

I can only aspire to your level of organization!  Still I will steal an idea from you - I tried to work out a shopping list that would take account of each ingredient in a recipe but couldn't work out the method - I see you simply repeat the name of the recipe - this I could likely adapt to what I am trying to do.  Thanks for sharing even if I feel so INADEQUATE now. :biggrin:

Because I work with Excel all day long, it didn't seem like a big leap for me to use it to track cooking "requirements" (I'm a software analyst by trade). I actually set up my spreadsheet so that the list of recipes is a dropdown box on the ingredients list page, then I use an Excel formula to "look up" the quantity to multiply ingredients--it's particularly useful at Christmas cookie time when I'm calculating how many batches of each kind I'll need for all my friends. It's also useful when I eliminate a recipe--I just set the quantity to 0 so that I don't have to go digging through my shopping list to figure out what I no longer need to buy. If you'd like, I'd be happy to send you a blank spreadsheet... :rolleyes:

There is recipe software out there that does the same thing, but for these kinds of meals, I'm almost never repeating a recipe that I've used before (so I don't already have the ingredients listed) and it seems like more trouble than it's worth to type the ingredients into their software. I haven't found one yet that I find easy for recipe entry--at least, not as easy as my Excel version. Plus, I keep them all and they are a fun (if a bit geeky) memento of past dinner parties.

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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What a blast this thread is! I love it!

I don't make huge shopping trips so my lists are usually scribbled on scraps of paper and are never very long. After I've been to the store, the lists then hang out in my purse until I get tired of fighting with them when I'm trying to find my sunglasses. Then I clean them out.

Since I can't remember cleaning my purse too recently, I knew there'd be at least a couple of them in there and, sure enough, there were two.

Here's the first one, a list of "must haves" from Costco written on the back of a desk calendar page:

gallery_11420_5220_51782.jpg

Just because the date says August 12th doesn't mean that that is when I went shopping. I tend to let my calendar go out of date often and then make a little stack of pages which hang out on my desk for a while.

And on the other side, the list:

gallery_11420_5220_29591.jpg

Please compare to Anna's Costco list above. I feel like such a hoser. :blink:

"Mex coke" is Coca-Cola imported from Mexico. It comes in the 12 oz. glass bottles and is made with cane sugar instead of HFCS. It tastes just like the Coke of my youth. :wub::wub:

And a regular "must not forget to pick up at the store" list:

gallery_11420_5220_36986.jpg

Nothing terribly exciting or embarrassing. Obviously, I'm living far too clean of a life. Maybe I should take up drinking gin?

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And here I thought my lo-tech steno pads were somewhat interesting! :laugh:

BekkiM and Anna you are marvelous!

BekkiM, I do want to see your "everyday" lists, too.

Anna, I used to live with my Franklin (does that date me?), and admire your resourcefulness.

I'm sure I'll have more questions after I study your lists! :biggrin:

Keep 'em coming - this is great!

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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And a regular "must not forget to pick up at the store" list:

gallery_11420_5220_36986.jpg

Nothing terribly exciting or embarrassing. Obviously, I'm living far too clean of a life. Maybe I should take up drinking gin?

Where else but on eG would a "must not forget to pick up at the store" list include two kinds of paprika, black beans and avocado??? :biggrin:

Mitchum and wet swiffer pads make my lists occasionally, too! :laugh:

And yes, not because you need too, but because you can: Try gin!

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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Wow! AnnaN, at first I thought you were the most organized, but I think Bekki wins the prize. I'm very impressed!

I used to have a pre-printed list back in my restaurant working days so I wouldn't have to keep shlepping up and down to the basement to get stuff. Nowadays, I have two methods: putting it in my PalmPilot for things that pop into my head rightthatsecond; and jotting it down on a notepad for the times we actually go food shopping. We're inundated with paper, so the latter gets thrown away.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Where else but on eG would a "must not forget to pick up at the store" list include two kinds of paprika, black beans and avocado???  :biggrin:

As much as I'd like to think of them as exotic, black beans and avocado are pretty much "every day ingredients" here in Sacatomatoes. Sigh.

And yes, not because you need too, but because you can:  Try gin!

That would make my life very exciting as I'm allergic to it (or something like that). I've had it twice in my life and both times a single ounce has given me hallucinations. :laugh:

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I'm impressed by all the lists. Mine are sort of "catch-as-catch-can" as I begin with a certain amount of orginization then find myself re-thinking sources (and how easy it is to get stuff into my van.

(Smart & Final always will load my van without me having to hang around waiting).

Here's my most recent one.

gallery_17399_60_467170.jpg

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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