“At least one ahead” is a tip I use in all areas of the household and homeschool.
The key to “at least one ahead” is to put items on the shopping list as soon as they are first opened rather than waiting until they are nearly finished.
So simple but such a life saver.
For instance, when a box of cereal is opened, a new box is immediately placed on the shopping list and after shopping day can be found sitting right alongside the open box waiting to be used.
In our homeschool, as soon as a new school book is started I order the next volume or book in the series (if they are books we are sure we’ll continue using of course). This is particularly important for international purchases as they can take up to 6 weeks to arrive so I need to know that the next book is waiting on the shelf for my boys to move onto. This is just as useful for books that will take awhile to complete. What if you order the book and find that it needs to go on backorder, or worse still is discontinued and you have to start researching a new book to use. With the “at least one ahead” rule you’ll have plenty of time up your sleeve.
In just about every area of my home you’ll find a product in use and one waiting to be used. The best part of this system is that we hardly ever run out of anything, we rarely have to dash to the shops before grocery day and we almost always have extra to share. If your neighbour pops over and asks to borrow a cup of sugar…yes it’s happened to me…you’ll always have an extra bag to give them. Or if your sister comes to stay the night and forgets her toothbrush…also happened to me… you’ll always have a new one to give her…to keep!
The other bonus we’ve discovered, by always keeping one ahead, is that if you can’t get to the grocery store one week…if say the family is ill or the car is on the fritz again…then you can fairly easily survive on what is left on your shelves.
No elaborate pantry master lists or reoccurring online ordering systems here. I’m not organised enough to make either of those things work.
For me, the simple things are the best things.