The key to healthy eating, of course, is to actually go grocery shopping and buy healthy foods. I used to be the type of person that walked into the grocery store, spent 45 minutes wandering around aimlessly, and then left $100 poorer. And then I still couldn’t figure out what to make for dinner.
I’ve tried to use grocery lists many times in the past. But every method backfired. Either it was too time-intensive or I ended up spending more money. And regardless of how ‘well’ I thought I had done at the store, I still struggled to create meals throughout the week because I’d always be missing a few key ingredients.
I realized that I needed to combine the practicality of grocery lists with the philosophy of meal planning.
Instead of just randomly jotting down things I think I’ll need, I first identify four or five meals that I want to cook throughout the week.
Then, I list out the four general sections of Trader Joe’s:
Cheese (if you love goat cheese as much as I do, cheese is a section)
And list out the ingredients for each meal idea. I also add in other miscellaneous things that we’ll need, like cereal, produce, and milk.
The list comes with me to the store and I go through each section, selecting everything on my list, plus a few more items depending what’s on sale.
I’m currently doing cooking prep work for the week. It’s going to be really busy, so I’m making a casserole and cooking some grains.
I also made this wonderful dinner:
If you’re looking for a meal to double (or even triple) and eat off of all work week long, definitely try Megan’s pineapple quinoa.
Every time I make this, I feel like I’m eating takeout from some fancy Asian fusion restaurant.
Do you use grocery lists or meal plan? How do you make it work for you?
That Veganomican recipe is amazing, we’ve made it many times the last few years!
I have two different printables I use that work well for planning/shopping purposes. We’re actually pretty easy in our house because dinner is often the only meal I need to ‘plan’ for, the boys always eat lunch at school or carry bento lunches from home, the husband either takes leftovers to work or eats with the staff, and I usually do a green juice/smoothie or leftovers for lunch. And morning is so crazy that breakfast is often a free for all! (this home is definitely not a Martha house!)
The printables are great, the have 7 says w/ B, L, D, Snacks on half, and a grocery list on half. I just take the list with me to the store, then slip it in a plastic sleeve on a magnet on the fridge. Any recipes that we get from a printed source (computer, magazine, etc) go in the sleeve with the meal plan. Any from a cookbook have the cookbook name and page noted on the meal block, and any from the web there’s a notation where on the web it is (ie: Peas and Thank you, etc). Any on the web I stick in one block of my google calendar online for the week and just go click on it when it’s time to meal prep. Works wonderfully! We ALWAYS end up with at least one meal we didn’t make due to an impromptu dinner out or the husband works late so the kids and I do something different, etc. But then I roll that meal over to the next week since I likely have all the ingredients ready and waiting.