Those who keep a watchful eye on where their money is spent, have long conquered kitchen woes. No last minute panic trips to market. No longer needing "give-the-kids-$20-for-fast-food" solution. This is no longer a problem or even a concern for "Kitchen Master".
You too can be a 'Master Of Your Kitchen'. All it takes is a little time and planning!
Now you might be saying "I don't have time to plan meals, let alone control my kitchen!" That's fine. Wait until you do have some time.
All you need is just a couple of hours some Saturday or Sunday where you can really "dive" into your kitchen.
Where To Start
Start from scratch. Clean out ALL those cupboards, shelves, racks, pantries, etc.... At some point, you'll want to do same to your refrigerator and freezer. You must! This is VALUABLE storage space that will save you hundreds off your grocery bills if they are properly put to use.
Kitchens were designed to act as 'mini-supermarkets'. Everything you need to prepare meals your family can enjoy morning, noon, and night. Once it is setup, you can accommodate quite a number of meals, without having to go to market every other day!
Once The Cleaning Is Done
Now that everything is cleaned and your current supplies organized, you'll need to inventory what you have. What this means is to list out what you have, and what you need to get.
Ideally, you should have at least 2-4 weeks of meals available at your disposal. Why? This will reduce number of trips to market and help minimize overspending and impulse buying.
What helps is if you list foods and meals you know your family likes (and would) eat. These are items you need to stock your kitchen pantry and frig with.
With this approach, you use your cupboards, pantries, and shelves to your advantage. Whenever you come across great bargains on items you use, buy more than usual, and store rest. Cans of tuna for 40 cents each, buy a lot. Boxes of macaroni and cheese for 50 cents each, buy a lot.
Sugar, cheese, spaghetti, rice, pasta, bread, meat, cereal, fruit, chicken, sauces, canned foods, vegetables, boxed foods. These are just a few examples of items than can be stored in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer (depending on what it is) for a reasonable amount of time.