Hello Again! Ready to hear my next Grocery Shopping Sanity Saver?
(If you missed it – check out part 1 of the series here.)
So, we’ve talked about where to shop to save your sanity. Now, let’s talk about how to shop.
You’ve GOT to have a plan.
I’m too embarrassed to say how many times I have walked into the grocery store with this great idea of just “winging it.”
Want to know what I would end up with when I got home?
All sorts of things that I couldn’t make a complete meal out of, and Oreos. (Some days I’d like to make a complete meal out of Oreos, but when feeding a family, I suppose that’s frowned upon.)
Watch the Facebook video below to see my simple way of meal planning. (Make sure you like the Facebook page too!)
There are three tools I use on a monthly and weekly basis to save my sanity while grocery shopping.
- Monthly Meal Planning Calendar
- Meal Options List
- Weekly Meal Plan – Grocery List
First things first. I like to list out all of the meals our family eats on the Meal Options List. Personally, I group all of the meals into different categories that relate to my family.
- Slow Cooker – for when I need dinner done when I get home.
- Quick & Easy – for when my dear husband needs to make dinner on his own.
- Adults Only – for when we can indulge in the things our kids won’t eat.
- Cleveland Meals – for when my husband is out-of-town, and the kids and I get to indulge in the things my husband won’t eat.
- Empty Calendar – for the rare days when I get to be home early, we have no sports practices or games, and I can take my time cooking. (These are the days when I crank up the dinner party station on Pandora, pour a glass of wine, and
sometimesalways find myself dancing in the kitchen. My favorite days to cook dinner!)
At the beginning of each month, I print a blank Monthly Meal Planning Calendar, and start by filling in what we’ve got going on that month. I don’t write everything – you’ve got to save room for what you’re planning for dinner that day. I write in the things that tell me which type of meal I’ll need for that day. Husband’s out-of-town? I know I need a Cleveland Meal that day. Kids are sleeping over at Grandma’s? I get to pick something from the Adults Only group. Double header basketball games? Definitely going to need a Slow Cooker meal.
Then – I go through and pick meals off of the Meal Options List and fill out what we’ll be eating for dinner each night. Friday’s are almost always reserved for Pizza at our house! My favorite things about planning out the entire month are 1) It keeps us from eating Tacos every single week, and 2) I can watch for deals on grocery items I know I’ll need throughout the month.
Finally, each week I print the Weekly Meal Plan – Grocery List. I refer back to my Monthly Meal Planning Calendar, and transfer what I planned for each day at the beginning of the month, over onto the weekly sheet. I pull up any recipes on pinterest or consult my trusted cook books, and jot down any ingredients I need to pick up that week. Lastly, I add to the list any other items we need. (Breakfast stuff, kids lunch items, home goods, etc.)
Having a plan helps save time in the store, and sets me up for a successful week of dinners.
Want to try the sheets/lists I use for meal planning? Click the “Follow” button on the right side of the screen and fill in your email information. Shortly after, the PDF versions of each document will arrive in your inbox!
I’d love to hear how you prepare for a trip to the grocery store! Share a comment with your tips!