Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘meal planning

If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you will know that after I got married, I struggled with finding effective ways of meal planning and grocery shopping.

Search grocery shopping and you’ll come across several blog posts about my struggles.

#thestruggleISreal

Here’s the new system I’ve implemented and it almost seems like something that should have been easy enough to implement from the beginning.

While planning the week out in my planner, I take a moment to write out five dishes that I think I can make for the week.  Why five?  Because I usually end up making more than we need and end up with leftovers that we can carry over into another night’s dinner.

I don’t assign a specific night.

Easy peasy.

Then, I take that list and shop accordingly.

It’s like a light bulb moment.  It’s a low pressure system.  I still get the freedom of cooking whatever I want, when I want, just based on the list of foods I set for the week.  Why did I make it so hard on myself before?

The only difficulty I have is picking the five meals.

To fix that, I am going to list ALL the meals that I have cooked, I can cook, or would like to try and cook.  As recipes get tried and approved, I will add them to this list.  Then, I will have a master list of foods to choose from so I don’t have to wreck my brain trying to think of five different dinners.

We’re on week three of this system and it’s been working.  Grocery shopping has been fast and easy.  Food wasting has been the lowest it has been in a long time.  This system also pushes me to really try those recipes that I have been dreaming of testing.

Looks like it’s time for me to resurrect the Joe, Party of 4 food blog!

What’s your meal planning/grocery shopping system?

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Since we got married in 2010, I have had so many issues trying to figure out the best way to grocery shop and meal plan.

I’ve tried everything.

I’ve tried to meal plan for the week ahead and then buy accordingly. 

I’ve tried to figure out what I’m going to cook for dinner than night and hit the grocery store after work to buy accordingly.

I’ve tried just forgetting all the grocery shopping all together and rely on eating out.  Ok, maybe not this so much, but I’ve been tempted to..

I think that I’ve finally figured out a system that works for me.  It may not be the most efficient way, but it’s been working for me for the past month, and I’m really enjoying my success.

About once a week, I go to the grocery store.  I start in the produce section and just start looking around.  It is while I’m looking around that I start to think of foods I can make with the produce in front of me.  While I’m planning these meals in my head, I start to buy accordingly.

Once I’m finished with the produce, I proceed to go down the store aisle by aisle brainstorming ideas just by looking at all the foods available.  Sometimes, I have to go back to the produce section to buy more vegetables that go well with a food I thought of making during my stroll.

I can walk out of the store with at least 3-5 meal ideas that can last us about a week, depending on how many leftovers we accumulate.

It’s a great system for me.  I’ve also found that walking aisle by aisle down a grocery store to be a little relaxing.

I joked with Hubby that I used to do these strolls at the mall, now I do them in a grocery store!

I’m glad I found a system that works. 

What’s your grocery style?!

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