Eat at Home Habit #2 Quick and Simple Grocery Shopping Tips

We’ve been talking about 7 Habits of Eating at Home in  a brand new series for the last couple of weeks. Our goal is to make the habit of eating at home low stress and high success–without spending hours of time in the kitchen preparing or cooking food.  You can read the first habit about picking recipes that fit your schedule here. This week we’ll be focusing on some quick and simple grocery shopping tips.

I went on Facebook Live and talked about all of my favorite tips and tricks, and demoed one of our favorite 15-minute meals! If you didn’t catch that, you can view the replay here. 

Habit #2 – Keep grocery shopping quick and simple

Grocery shopping can be time-consuming and tedious sometimes. Without a plan, it’s easy to come home with much more than you intended (and go over budget) or forget essentials and hvae to make extra trips. Here are a few ideas to make grocery shopping faster:

1. Organize your list by aisle of the store

If you’re an Eat at Home Meal Plan member, this step is done for you and it’s color-coded too so you know which ingredients are for which recipe.  If you’re not a member, go through the recipes you’ve chosen to make during the week and add all the ingredients to the list in the categories you’d find them in the store.

My lists (and those we create for members) have these categories:

  • Produce
  • Canned/Dry
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Bread
  • Other

2. Keep a running list of things you run out of during the week

I’ve learned that the best place for me to keep this list is in my planner, but you may like keeping a piece of paper on the fridge instead.  You might also have a chalkboard or dry-erase board in the kitchen you could use.  However, you keep the list, get in the habit of adding items to it as you run low on them.

3. Shop with purpose

Once you hit the store, shop with purpose.  This means have your list in your hand, grab your cart and go.  Focus on the list and don’t get sidetracked by other items and aisles.  Move quickly through the store and check those items off your list!

4. Work from the back of the store to the front

I like to start at the back of the grocery and work my way to the front.  That makes a quick trip to the cash register when I’m finished (and less temptation to pick up one more thing) and it keeps the produce from getting crushed since it’s the last thing I add to the cart.

5. Try online ordering with store pickup

Many grocery stores now offer this, including Walmart.  I can’t sing the praises of this service enough!  It’s such a time saver. I put my Eat at Home grocery list in one tab and have the Walmart site open in another tab. Moving between the two to add the items to my cart only takes a few minutes to complete the order.

Schedule a pickup for when you’re already out doing errands.  It’s so convenient and easy! If you haven’t tried it before, you can get $10 off by signing up here.

6. Check out Amazon Pantry

The prices aren’t always comparable to in-store prices in every area, but sometimes you can snag a great deal on pantry staples and have them shipped right to your door! I haven’t tried it myself, but I have a friend who uses it regularly and it saves her time and money! You can order other household staples and fit up to 45 lbs in a box. Each month, there are featured items and if you buy five of those, you get free shipping too. She uses this to stock up on toiletry items, band-aids, and cleaning supplies as well as pantry basics. They have a nice variety of organic and gluten-free options as well. Keeping an eye out and buying things you need anyway can make Prime Pantry a great time-saving choice!

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May Weekly Meal Plans are here!

PinterestMay

It’s a new month and that means we’ve got a whole new set of Weekly Meal Plans ready!  Members can login here to download the meal plans and grocery lists.

If you’re not a member yet, why not give it a try?

Here are a couple of quotes from two of our members:

“Thanks for creating something like this!! I can already tell that the money we are going to save from NOT eating out all the time is going to be PRICELESS!!” – Darcee

“I absolutely love Eat at Home. I recommend it to everyone. For little more than $1 a week you have a pre-planned grocery list and meal for each night of the week. The meals are very good. The meals are quick and easy to prepare and I love the 15 minute meal and the slow cooker meal in the traditional plans. Love love love your service!!!” – Anonymous for Weekly Meal Plan Member feedback survey

And below is a word cloud of common words mentioned in that same Member feedback survey:

meal plan word cloud

You can find out more about becoming a member here.

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Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – June 16 – Looking for your ideas and opinions

This past week has been a whirl wind of getting ready for vacation and tying up some lose ends on several projects.  The main goal with our meals this week has been clear out the fridge.

In other news, I’m thinking it’s time to revamp these weekly posts on the meal plans.  I have a few ideas in mind, but I’d love to know what you’d like to see.

Do you like seeing the sneak peek of the main dishes on the plans each week?

Do you like hearing a little about how my family gets dinner done?

Do you have other ideas for these posts or do you tend to just skip these altogether?

Leave a comment or drop me an email to let me know your thoughts!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Italian Sausage Sloppy Joes
  2. Chicken Tetrazini
  3. Pineapple Chicken
  4. Enchiladas
  5. Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Chops
  6. Tony’s Fish
  7. Cherry Cobbler

Traditional Menu

Slow Cooker Menu

  1. Apple BBQ Pork Chops
  2. Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos
  3. Easy Meatball Subs
  4. Crockpot Honey Mustard Chicken
  5. Tamale Sandwiches 
  6.  Beef Teriyaki
  7. Banana Split Dessert
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Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – May 12

I hope you’ve had a great Mother’s Day weekend!

Isaac was in the chorus of Guys and Dolls, put on by our high school homeschool group.  All the kids did such a great job!  We had Jim’s parents come down on Thursday night and my parent were here Friday and Saturday.

Mia spent last week sewing a lot of bags.  Four bags in four days.  I’m so proud of her sewing skills!  I think she does great, especially since she’s just 11 years old.  I can barely sew on a button.  It’s good that I’ve got her around!

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Last week we mostly ate the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals I made the week before.  I love having those easy meals ready to go!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Sweet Chili Linguine
  2. Apple BBQ Pork Chops
  3. Lentil Tacos
  4. Olive Oil and Italian Herb Roasted Chicken
  5. Peanut Chicken
  6. Chicken Enchiladas
  7. Salted Caramel Cobbler

Traditional Menu

  1. Hamburgers
  2. Complete BBQ Chicken Meal in Crock Pot
  3. Hashbrown Casserole 
  4. Marinated Mojo Pork Chops
  5. Mexican Rice and Beans
  6. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
  7. Slow Cooker Banana Foster Bread Pudding

Slow Cooker Menu

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – May 5

Last week was not the most inspired eating we’ve ever done.  I had a terrible cold all week.  You know the kind where you aren’t sick enough to go to bed, but you aren’t very on top of things either?  I actually made dinner every night, which sounds a lot more ambitious than the reality.  The fact that I didn’t go to the grocery store last weekend due to feeling bad, didn’t help with our dinner situation.

This is one of those weeks where I say to myself,  “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was someone on the internet who had meal plans I could buy that came with the grocery list already done for me?”.  Oh yeah.  That would be me.  And as soon as I was feeling better on Thursday afternoon, I hit the grocery with color-coded list in hand!

Monday – I decided to turn some frozen rotisserie chicken into Thai Chicken Curry Soup.  It was a simple, comforting meal that I ate on for the next few days.

Tuesday – Jim was out of town.  We had pancakes, which we usually do at some point when he is gone.  The boys always want some meat with their meals.  I didn’t have any bacon and wasn’t thinking clearly enough to remember the breakfast sausage in the freezer.  But I did have two packages of smoked sausage.  I wasn’t too sure how that would be with pancakes, but it turns out that it’s pretty good.  My motto: Use what you’ve got!

Wednesday – Still not feeling great.  Still hadn’t been to the grocery.  I decided to slice the second pack of smoked sausage into a can of baked beans.  Fancy, I know.  I did make homemade cornbread to go with it.

Thursday – I shopped for groceries finally!  I used the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals list for May.  Members have access to this now, but it’s scheduled for later this month.  It was late when I got done shopping, so I picked up ham for sandwiches and made a quick Hawaiian Cole Slaw to go with them.

Friday – I made another video to show how to assemble the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals.  And we had one of those meals for our dinner.  I’ll share the video with you this week.  My oldest daughter makes an appearance in this one!

This week, I’m hoping to do some recipe creating.  Fingers crossed that I’ll have some successes to share with you soon!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans Sneak Peek

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Freezer Burritos
  2. Oven Baked Chicken Tacos
  3. Loaded Baked Potatoes
  4. Toasted Apple & Brie Sandwiches
  5. Italian Parmesan Herb Chicken & Potatoes in Slow Cooker
  6. Honey Lemon Pepper Salmon
  7. Strawberry Shortcake

Traditional Menu

  1. 15 Minute Chicken and Dressing Skillet
  2. Ranch Meatballs with Pasta
  3. Sloppy Cubanos
  4. Bacon, Tomato, Basil Pasta
  5. Beef Quesadillas
  6. Sweet and Spicy Chicken Legs
  7. Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Slow Cooker Menu

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – April 28

Easter weekend threw me a little off schedule.  We went out of town to be with family.  Meredith’s cousins threw her a lovely bridal shower.

It was a great weekend, but when we got back in town I really needed to hit the grocery.  I did that on Monday and tested the Traditional list for an upcoming week in May.

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You can see from the photo which meals were planned for the week.  I knew that I would be making some of those meals, but I also knew that I had recipes to create this week.  No worries, since all the meals use common pantry ingredients I knew I would have what I need by sticking to the list.

Here’s how it all worked out this week:

Monday – I decided to buy ground pork instead of beef for hamburgers.  It was a lovely evening, so we fired up the grill.  Instead of detox salad, I served sweet potato fries and cucumbers and tomatoes.

Tuesday – I was looking forward to trying the Mojo pork chops, but the store didn’t have that type of marinade.  I bought Caribbean Jerk instead.  It was great!  We had Pressure Cooker Mac & Cheese and broccoli with it.

Wednesday – I did another spin on Basic Chicken Skillet, this time giving it a Mexican flair.  The resulting recipe combines elements of Mexican Beans and Rice with the Basic Chicken Skillet.  Easy, quick and family friendly.

Thursday – I created yet another spin on Basic Chicken Skillet.  This time I went with a stir fry.  The homemade sauce turned out great.  I used Napa cabbage in the dish.  That was easy to swap out for the kale that the grocery list called for.

Friday – I’m writing this post on Friday afternoon.  Jim and I decided we’ll have a date night tonight.  I’m not sure what the kids will be eating, but it may be the grilled cheese and tomato sandwich that was on the menu.  Everybody needs a simple dinner sometimes!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

This is a great time to become a member of our Weekly Meal Plans.  You get access to a whole month at a time.  Since this is the end of the month, that means that you’ll be getting all of April and all of May when it posts next week.  A whole extra month!

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu (these are edited on our plans to make them Whole Food compatible)

  1. Whole Chicken in Slow Cooker
  2. Black Bean Tacos
  3. Skillet Chicken, Peppers & Tomatoes
  4. Penne Gorgonzola Grilled Chicken
  5.  Spaghetti
  6.  Lemon Tilapia with Veggies
  7. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Traditional Menu

  1. Chicken Enchiladas
  2. Hamburger Stroganoff
  3. Corn Chowder
  4. Pork Tenderloin
  5. Turkey Italian Sausage and Tortellini Salad
  6. Baked Pasta with Cauliflower and Cheese
  7. Peanut Butter Cookie Pudding

Slow Cooker Menu

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – March 10

We’ve been working behind the scenes on some exciting new additions to the Weekly Meal Plans.  I can’t wait to share with you, but I’m not quite ready yet.  I will say, I think you’re going to love it!

Last week started off with snow and ice and ended with highs in the upper 50s.  Crazy Kentucky weather!  Our dinners ranged from newly created recipes to simple things like pancakes and sausage.  We also had grilled cheese and tomato soup for one meal, which tasted great on a snowy day.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Maple Apple Chicken 
2. Refried Beans without the Refry ( For bean and beef burritos)

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life — March 3

It’s a new month, with new Weekly Meal Plans!

And we are edging closer to spring, even if the weather doesn’t quite feel like it yet.

Last week was my week to cook for lots of different company.  We had planned to have dinner with a family from church on Sunday, but they ended up having to cancel Saturday night because of sick kids.  I had already made a lot of food though, so  the seven of us feasted on pulled pork, hash brown casserole and Texas sheet cake.  And we had plenty for leftovers on Monday night too.

On Tuesday night, we had one of the slow cooker freezer meals I had stashed in the deep freeze.  This time it was Hawaiian Meatballs.  I am officially in love with slow cooker freezer meals!

Wednesday night I hosted book club.  I cooked a big pot of Velma’s Chili and a batch of Goat Cheese Biscuits.  For dessert we had Brownies with ice cream and wild berry sauce.  So good!  And that made enough to have again on Friday for lunch when my parents and uncle came to bring the new pantry.

Thursday night I tested a recipe for a client.  Unfortunately, it was a huge flop.  I hate it when that happens, but when you’re trying new ideas and recipes, you’re going to have the occasional flop.  Back to the drawing board for that one.

This week, I think things will be more normal for our dinners.  I’m hoping to test some more new recipes though.  Fingers crossed that I have better luck!

Look for the full story with lots of pictures of our new pantry coming early next week.  I’m in love with it!

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Simple Weekly Meal Plans

The beginning of the month is a great time to try our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

3. Rotisserie Chicken

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Philly Cheese Steak Soup in the Slow Cooker
2. Complete BBQ Chicken Dinner
3. Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole
4. Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos
5. Honey Hoisin Chicken
6. Ham Caribbean
7. Pear Tart with Cream Cheese Icing

Simple Meal Plans and Real Life – January 20

It’s a little early in the year for this (aren’t we all supposed to be super-charged, high energy, and goal oriented in January?), but I’m already in a recipe slump.  That’s probably not a great thing to admit since I’m a food blogger.  But I’ve had some trouble coming up with ideas for new recipes to share here.  It’s a phase, and one I’m sure will pass.  I’ve been through this before, so I know it’s temporary.

I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I started the Whole 30, quite the Whole 30 and at least for this week I need to watch my intake of high potassium foods.  Frankly, it all leaves me a little tired of food in general.

That said, I’m so glad I have a freezer stocked with the January Slow Cooker Freezer meals.  That’s the menu that you see posted below in the Slow Cooker Plan section.  We’ve already had the Beef Stew and let me tell you, that was phenomenal!

And I do have one idea for an easy slow cooker soup recipe that I’m going to be testing this week.  Fingers crossed that it turns out well!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you find yourself in your own version of a cooking slump, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  This week includes the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Plan!  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Slow Cooker Potato Soup

2. Easy, Shredded Taco Beef in the Slow Cooker

3. Chicken Broccoli Divan in the Crockpot or Oven

4. Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (as pork)

5. Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

6. All day Beef Stew

7. Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

 

Traditional Plan

1. Healthier Sausage McMuffin Casserole

2. Chicken Tortilla Soup

3. Pan Fried Shrimp Sandwiches 

4.Angel Chicken

5. Beef Tacos

6. Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese 

7. Apple Cinnamon Skillet Monkey Bread

Simple Weekly Meal Plans and Real Life – November 4

WeeklyMealPlansandRealLife

Every week I swear to myself that I’m going to take notes on what our dinners are each night.  When I start to write these posts, I can never remember what we’ve eaten!  I end up wracking my brain to remember, when I could just jot it down each day.

Some of you may be thinking to yourselves, “Doesn’t she follow her own meal plans?”

The answer to that is yes and no.  I do shop with the lists for the plans.  Last week, I shopped with the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Plan and tested all those recipes on Saturday.  I was able to put 7 meals in the freezer with just 1 hour of work!

But, I didn’t want to use all of those meals in one week.  And I’m always testing new recipes.  The great thing about the plans is that they use common ingredients.  If you shop with the lists, you’ll have what you need to make lots of different dinners.  It’s nice, because sometimes you just want to veer from the plan for whatever reason.

Okay, back to last Saturday.   I made all the meals on the slow cooker freezer plan.  I also made a meatloaf for Peter’s birthday dinner and put it in the freezer.  I created a new recipe for Spiced Apple Cider Slow Cooker Oatmeal.  And made a big pot of chili for that night, which we ate on Sunday after church too.

Whew!  That was a lot of cooking in one day.

On Monday, I had another recipe to test, but I used one of the freezer meals to make it.  Peach BBQ Pork Sliders with Apple Cole Slaw was the result.  Yum!

On Tuesday, Jim was out of town.  We had the rest of the bbq, along with French fries and a wedge salad.

Wednesday night, I used another of the slow cooker freezer meals.  I love these things!  It’s so easy to dump them in the crock and turn it on.

Thursday was Halloween.  More importantly, it was Peter’s 19th birthday!  We had meatloaf, cream cheese mashed potatoes, broccoli and spinach salad.  We usually end up with a bunch of candy, in addition to the cake, but trick-or-treating got postponed for bad weather.  It was nice to spread out the sugar rush a bit.

I did make chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  Cake stands are pretty, but mine is not very stable.  Too much weight on one side crashed the cake to the counter, which we all thought was hilarious!  It wouldn’t have been nearly as funny if I was serving people other than my own family.

cakecrash

 

And yes, they did laugh at me for taking a photo before putting the cake back on the plate.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  November features your easiest Thanksgiving ever, with easy recipes to keep you spending more quality time with your family instead of the kitchen stove.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker

Traditional