Ok, so you've scheduled a party and made a menu. You know how many people are coming and the only thing left to do is buy the ingredients and make the food.
How do you avoid multiple trips to the grocery store because you forgot one very important ingredient? My solution involves about ten or fifteen minutes of work to make your shopping list.
The first step is to get all your recipes together. Start making a list of every ingredient. Chances are, you'll need the same item for more than one recipe, like onions or garlic. Start adding it up.
The second step is to go through your fridge, pantry, and spices to see what you already have. My mom never learned to do this step, and there are four canisters of pepper in the house. Not to mention the dried basil and dill weed.
Once you've crossed out the ingredients you already have, you should have an accurate shopping list. If you really want to go ocd, rewrite it by department, starting with non-perishable goods so the milk doesn't sit in your cart while you stroll the aisles. To go really, really ocd, create a shopping pattern through your grocery store and list items that way. If you're able to do that while sitting at the kitchen table, you obviously spend a lot of time thinking about your grocery shopping and don't need to read this post.
Lastly, check for coupons and online specials before leaving for the market. Discounts don't help you if you forget the coupon. And remember to take the shopping list!!
(This post brought to you by forgetting the tomato paste the other day. The Coq au Vin last night was fine without it, but I'm still kicking myself.)