Now that you’ve got a handle on your pantry and freezer, you’re ready to plan meals and make out the grocery list.
The goal with this is to do it fast! It’s easy to get sucked into a rabbit hole of searching for recipes on the internet. That can be fun, but so time consuming. Let’s keep this as simple and quick as possible.
At this point, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t mention Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plans. If you want to make the process of meal planning and making out grocery lists as easy as printing, this is the way to go. Click here to find out more about how we include 15 minute meals, slow cooker recipes and lots of other quick ideas. But if you want to give the meal planning and list making a try on your own, keep reading for a few tips.
Meal planning tips:
1. If you’ve got food to use in your pantry and freezer, keep that list handy when making out your meals. Plan meals around the meat and other items you need to use.
2. Most important! Match meals to the busyness of your day. Do you have a couple of minutes to put food in a slow cooker in the morning, but no time to fix anything at night? Plan slow cooker meals for these days. Are you going to have a super busy day? Look for a 15 minute meal that can be on the table in no time.
Whatever you do, don’t overwhelm yourself thinking you’ll make recipes that take more time than you’ve really got. Be realistic when making your plan.
3. Don’t forget to plan side dishes too. This is an easy way to use up frozen veggies.
Grocery list making and quick shopping tips:
1. Grab a piece of paper or print off the meal plan/grocery list printable you’ll find at this link.
2. Go through the ingredients in each recipe and side dish you’ve chosen and add them to the grocery list. Organize your list by section of the grocery store (Produce, Canned/Dry, Meat, Dairy, Bread, etc)
3. At the store, shop with purpose. That means have your list in your hand, grab your cart and go. Focus on the list and don’t get side tracked by other items and aisles. Move quickly through the store.
Your goal for today is make your meal plan and grocery list for the first week (or two, if you’re feeling ambitious). Aim for six meals each week, using the seventh day for leftovers or eating out.
Happy planning and shopping!
P.S. Here’s one more quick tip: 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.