I am simply asking for any shopping tricks - tips you have, any advice when it comes to meal planning or shopping planning. Usually my family just goes get this and that but its never anything really homemade, unless you include the water and milk you throw in according to the box. My family doesn't listen to "no don't touch that I am making a recipe", so I need help there to. Any suggestions how I can prevent people from taking my ingredients. Its really just I am novice when it comes to cooking healthy homemade meals and shopping in a way that doesn't cost a fortune. I need to be able to shop effectively and cost saving but I can still get all the ingredients I need.
Try this: Get some recipes that you are interested in, use them to plan a menu for the whole week and do all the shopping at once. If you need something really fresh, plan that meal for later in the week when you can stop in somewhere and pick it up. Use actual food as much as possible, rather than food-like commercial products. As Michael Pollan says, they shouldn't have a list of more than five ingredients, ingredients you can't pronounce, and should eventually rot.
Give yourself time to prepare the meal, get the ingredients organized and ready to go and don't get in a rush. Clean up as much as possible during "idle time" in the process so you don't have a big off-putting mess at the end.
As for people taking ingredients, you just have to make it clear that it's off-limits and there are consequences. Hopefully when people get used to having home-cooked dinners they won't pilfer.
If I could recommend one single cookbook to have it would be The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook