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.

mealplancombofinal

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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 – 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.

photo-41

 

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 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

Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Plan – Simple Weekly Meal Plans and Real Life Oct. 21

This is the week with our slow cooker freezer meals plan.  I was able to put all of these meals together in just under an hour.  If you’d like to watch a video of the assembly process (the video is only 9 minutes long), you can find it here.  I love having these meals stashed away in the freezer!

The Weekly Meal Plans for November will also include a week of slow cooker freezer meals.  And because you have access to a whole month at a time, if you join now, you’ll get both October and November.  Big bang for your buck!  You can find out more about Weekly Meal Plans by clicking this link.

WeeklyMealPlansandRealLife

 

Last week, I tested the recipe for Slow Cooker Corn Chowder.  I also created a recipe for ALDI that turned out fabulous.  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Jim was traveling again.  There were several nights that we ate left overs instead of me cooking a new meal.  Having a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week is great for that.

I shared this photo of a sunrise on Instagram earlier this week. Doesn’t it look like God signed His name in it?  Can you see the big G and what looks like a signature behind it?  So cool!

Godsignedsunrise

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.  And October has a week of  Slow Cooker Freezer Meals, with a plan to make 6 meals in about 1 hour.  You can find out more about how to get them for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Plan

 

Traditional Plan

  1. Breakfast for Dinner 
  2. Baked Chicken and Summer Vegetables 
  3. Shrimp Tostadas 
  4. Ravioli with Tomato and Onion Sauce 
  5. Pizza Steak Sandwiches 
  6. Cheesy Hamburger Soup 
  7. Apple Crinkle 

Simple Weekly Meal Plans and Real Life – September 23

We’re still focusing on freezer meals in the Weekly Meal Plans.  I’ve got a sneak peek at this week’s plans at the bottom of this post.

WeeklyMealPlansandRealLife

 

Last weekend, we celebrated my birthday a little bit early.  We went to the apple orchard on Saturday.  The weather was gorgeous!  Just the right amount of cool to hint at fall, but not enough to feel really cold.  And the sun was shining bright.  We bought a lot of apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts and decided to eat lunch there too.

Our original plan was to go out for lunch on Sunday for my birthday, but we’d spent so much on Saturday I decided to cook instead.  I made a classic pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  I really thought I had already shared the recipe with you, but I can’t find it on my site, so I guess I never posted it.  And I didn’t take any photos on Sunday either.  But soon, I’ll make it again and post it.  It is so good!

Jim made my favorite cake – Mom’s Layer Cake with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting from the Cake Mix Dr. Cookbook.

birthday

 

He did refrain from adding 46 candles to the cake!

Monday night I created the recipe for Popcorn Chicken Parmesan.  It was a hit!  Such an easy way to have a fantastic meal and it only took 15 minutes to make.

Tuesday was my actual birthday.  Isaac had a soccer game, so we ate sandwiches on the sidelines.

Wednesday night I made tostadas.  I was in a hurry, but I was trying to create a new recipe.  My creative juices weren’t flowing well though and we ended up with taco meat on tostada shells.  Super simple and quick.

Wednesday was also the day that my Stitch Fix box came.  This was the first box that I kept everything.

Stitch Fix 8

 

I loved everything they sent this time, but my favorite by far is the jeans.  I still can’t believe they actually fit.  Jean shopping is normally a huge hassle for me.  I have to try on 10-20 pairs before I find one that fits.  They all have a huge gap in the back of the waist.  I hate shopping for any type of pants, because it just takes so long.

But I pulled these from Stitch Fix from the box and they fit perfectly!  I wore them the rest of the day and my kids kept telling me that they really liked them.  That never happens!  It was fun to hear them complement me.  I never would have chosen the color either.  It’s darker than it looks in the picture.  And I had a surprising number of tops that coordinate with the burgundy color.

I’ve already scheduled my next fix and requested more jeans.  You can find out more about how Stitch Fix works here (that’s my affiliate link).  I love using the service, because I really hate to shop.  Stitch Fix is like shopping without actually going shopping.

Thursday night, I felt like a hypocrite.  There were only 2 people going to be home for dinner, with 1 more coming in late.  We’d had a long day of classes and practices.  So I decided we would grab fast food.  I’m not sure why this should make me feel like a hypocrite, since I’ve never claimed that we don’t eat out.  But since I do run a blog called Eat at Home, I always feel funny when I give in to my lazies and hit the drive through.

It’s Friday afternoon as I write this.  We’ve got another soccer game tonight.  I’m debating whether I should make something to eat on the sidelines or make something to have once we get home.  It will be late though and I don’t know that I want to wait that long for dinner.

#DinnerDilemma Twitter Party and Slow Cooker Giveaway

hamilton beach 6 quart slow cooker

 

This Twitter party had to be postponed last week, so we’re going to be having it this Monday 3pm Est.

I love this slow cooker!  Actually, I’ve never used it, I just wanted one for a long time.  I’ll be giving away 2 of them, along with an assortment of Libby’s products to two participants in the #DinnerDilemma Twitter party.

I’d love for you to join us on Monday 9/23 at 3pm EST.  We’re going to be talking about all kinds of things to help get dinner on the table each night, from recipes, to bulk cooking, to side dishes and more.

Be sure to follow @LibbysTable and me, @TiffanyAKing on Twitter.

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.  You can find out more about how to get them for yourself by clicking here.  Now, you get access to a whole month at a time!  And September is our focus on stocking the freezer, including the week where you cook 7+ Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in just 1 hour!

Slow Cooker Plan

3. Slow Cooker Beans for the Freezer aka Refried Beans without the Refry (served in toritalls with cheese as bean & cheese burritos)

Traditional Plan

  1. Chicken Pot Pie
  2. Beef tacos (using beef [prepared like this
  3. Ham Caribbean 
  4. Honey Pork Chops 
  5. Chicken Gyros 
  6. Scrambled eggs with muenster cheese and ham 
  7. Frozen Marble Mocha Loaf