The Grocery Lists that accompany each week’s meal plan are divided into the following sections:
- Dry Goods
- Pantry Staples
This is hopefully an easy way to break the shopping down into sections of the store. This should enable you to navigate quickly through the store getting all the items in one section before moving on to the next. It works well for me so I’m hoping it will for you also!
Take a look at the Pantry Staples each week. These are things like salt, pepper, oils, spices, condiments, etc. You should have many of these items on hand already.
I have numbered the weekly dinners 1-5. Behind each item on the grocery list is a number in parenthesis. This correlates to the number of the menu item on the weekly list. So for example in my first weekly menu post, Week 1, Cheese and Sausage Calzones w/ Roasted Broccoli is the #3 meal on the list. Everything on the grocery list with a (3) behind it is an item for this meal. If you were not going to make this particular meal for the week, you would not need to buy anything with a (3) after it. Some weeks you may desire to follow the entire week’s menu so you will buy everything on the list and other times, tastes or schedules may prohibit you from making every meal. This should be an easy way to quickly determine what from the grocery list goes with each menu item and take off anything you may not need.
The grocery lists are obviously just for your weekly dinners, but you could easily add to it any other items that you need from the grocery store on any given week for breakfast, lunch, snacks or household items. My goal is to only be at the grocery store once a week and with this system of planning ahead I have been able to reach that goal!
One of the many benefits of planning ahead for weekly meals and grocery lists is that you don’t necessarily have to be the one who always goes to the grocery store! With a pre-planned list, you can get help with the shopping from a spouse or older kids who can drive to the store and shop for you. Just give them the list and send them on their way! Sometimes when the occasion arises that I have my kids with me on shopping day, we split the list up, and they are old enough to take their own cart and get the items on their half of the list. It is a great way to teach life skills, give your kids some independence and knowledge of how to navigate a grocery store, and as so many articles talk about, kids who are involved in the family meal process whether it be shopping, preparing or cooking, are more likely to eat and enjoy the meals that are being served.
I hope you find this helpful and hopefully by planning ahead you will start to see how meal planning saves money, time and permits you to make better choices and live a healthier lifestyle!
(Image at top of page courtesy of Mister GC at freedigitalphotos.net)