Melissa and I thought and thought about how to do our MASTER INGREDIENT LIST we proposed this and that but then it hit us and here it is...
I used Microsoft Excel to make this lovely table (this is just a piece of my table) with the names of the meals on the left and ALL of the ingredients needed to make those 30 meals across the top. I separated the ingredients into sections to make it easier for shopping, i.e. meats/proteins, carbs, dairy, veggies, spices, etc. I think I will go back and alphabetize those sections to make it even easier.
The beauty of this is you can see EVERYTHING you need (and how much) at a glance.
Also, if you are at home looking in your fridge and thinking you need to cook up the chicken (or sour cream, or veggies, etc) before they go bad you can just pick up your Master List and check out the chicken column to see which meals you could make to use that chicken quick.
Once I am all finished with entering all 30 of my meals and the ingredients I will add some empty lines at the bottom of the page and laminate so that I can use a dry erase marker and circle ingredients I need to buy and also add other items I need to pick up at the store (i.e. cold cereal, soap etc.) so that I can just take my Master List shopping with me and know that I have everything I need.
Also, I plan on having an extra Master List in my car for those unexpected stops to the grocery store.
The other fabulous thing about this is I can stock up on the items on my Master List when they are on SALE or when I have coupons because I KNOW I will use them. I'm ALL about saving money.
You guys, I can't tell you how excited I am about this! There is something about 30 meals... I can handle 30 meals! It is totally going to change how I cook and shop, WAHOOOO!!!