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Simplify Your Thanksgiving Shopping List

November 22nd, 2011 · No Comments · News, Software

People often ask “what would I use Excel for”?  Here’s something I’ve been doing for years and it truly simplifies my Thanksgiving menu shopping.  Our Thanksgiving menus do not often change dramatically from year to year so once you do this, it just takes minor tweaking to update it each year.

I created a spreadsheet with five columns:  Recipe, Item, Amount, Measurement, and Store.  Then, I enter rows for each menu item as follows:

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms     Mushrooms, Fresh       24      Pieces         Grocery

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms      Pecans                             1         cup              Grocery

Mulled Cider                               Apple Cider                     1         gallon        Grocery

Red Wine                                     Pinot Noir                       4        bottles         Liquor Store

Be sure to convert measurements to a standard.  That is, for Butter, I convert sticks and cups to tablespoons.  Once all the menu items are entered, sort the list by Item.  This will group all instances of Butter together, all instances of Celery together, etc.  Then, subtotal for each change in Item.  This will insert lines in the spreadsheet totaling how much Butter you need, how many stalks of Celery you need, etc.

I print the subtotaled list, cross out all the items I do not have to buy and then shop for what’s left.  If I change one or two recipes the following year, I just delete the rows for those recipes, add rows for the new recipes, sort, subtotal, and print.  It is amazing how much time is saved by keeping this spreadsheet!  Time to get ready to go out to pick up my Thanksgiving groceries.  Our best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Thanksgiving from all of us at Wilton Library.

~mary anne
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