Sometimes, a person has a skill, knack, craft, etc that is just SO GOOD that they simply must share it with the rest of the world.
My amazing, applause worthy skills are: my meal planning skills and my list making skills. When the two are combined….watch out…it’s mind blowing.
Now, I’m sure most of you make some sort of grocery list with things you NEED to buy…and then just kind of “wing-it” from there. I used to use this approach, but found I was spending WAY more then I wanted to on food (most of whichI would just throw out in a month). No good.
When we moved to WI, I completely revamped my take on grocery shopping. The key is simple: Plan your work, and work your plan.
We do grocery shopping on Saturdays, so on Thursday or Friday nights I sit down with a notepad and plan out a weeks worth of meals; including all the ingredients I’d need to buy for those meals and the weekly “staples” (milk, toilet paper, sweet tea vodka…you know, the essentials).
I don’t plan meals for Saturdays since I like to have at least one day off a week from cooking…it’s usually a cheese and crackers kind of night.
I then brainstorm 6 different dinner ideas based on what sounds tasty (and based on what I already have in my pantry or freezer). I have an incredibly hard time making the same thing 2 weeks in a row, so my list of meals varies every week.
When I go grocery shopping I like to be in and out of the store in 15 minutes (or less). I’ve found that any more time than that and I wind up with way too many “non-essential” impulse items in my cart; resulting in a SUPER high total at the register. Get in and get out!
Ok, here is a step by step look at how I go about planning our meals and making my shopping list:
I start with a blank “note” on my phone titled “Weekly Meals”. I then write out the days of the week (abbreviated) so I can visualize everything better. Next, I add my “shopping list” underneath the week’s meals, so everything is all in one place. **Please note the date of this screen shot is from July 25th. Yes, I’ve had this post in the back of my mind since July…It’s now mid-September! Wow! **
Next, I brainstorm ideas as to what I’d like to cook/eat during the week. I usually change my mind about 5 times before finally deciding on 6 meals. I should also mention that I almost always plan to serve leftovers on the nights when I have plans (like book club, Mom’s night out, etc). I’m pretty sure I had a Holistic Mom’s meeting that Thursday night. When this happens, I make sure that one meal will guarantee leftovers for another night.