Four-Square: The Shopping List of Dreams

Have you grown tired of crisscrossing the grocery store on the hunt for forgotten items? With whiny kids? After work? Many times a week? It is time to change your list from the old-fashioned top-down method to the very modern four-square method. Don’t use a list? Please keep that to yourself, or the Practical Cook may faint.

Let’s get down to the basics, in pictorial form, to keep devoted blog reader iCook happy.

1. Take a piece of paper, small is fine, and draw a line down the middle, top to bottom.

1. Take a piece of paper, small is fine, and draw a line down the middle, top to bottom.

 2. Repeat the process, this time drawing the line from side to side.

2. Repeat the process, this time drawing the line from side to side.

3. Now you are ready to assign your quadrants according to the store you shop in most often.

3. Now you are ready to assign your quadrants according to the store you shop in most often.

Yes, it’s just that easy. Keep this list posted with a pen nearby in the kitchen. Add things to the list as you run out or notice your stocks are low. NEVER run out of your favorite punt foods. (More ideas for those in forthcoming blogs–we must crawl before we run here.)

Sample Grocery List Using the Four-Square Method

Sample Grocery List Using the Four-Square Method

This is a sample of the Practical Cook’s list for the week.The upper left is fresh fruits and veg. Lower left is canned goods/dry goods. Upper right is dairy and spoilables. Lower right is frozen and meat. Now, when you add something to your list during the week, it won’t just be at the bottom of a long line, but near where you’ll be when you’re looking at it.

PC followers Cooking Legally and Blended Familia have both successfully tested this method, adapting it to their grocery stores. Give it a try, and happy shopping.

Coming up next, it’s Weekly Menus time! Also look for an ongoing series of tips and tricks for marketing your dinner to the people at your table–picky eaters big and small, the generally reluctant, or the garden variety exhausted. As always, submit your ideas and questions. The Practical Cook likes a challenge!

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1 Comment

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy

One response to “Four-Square: The Shopping List of Dreams

  1. Pingback: Weekly Menus: Week of 1/15/2012 | The Practical Cook

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