As I mentioned last week, I’m rethinking how I meal plan and grocery shop. I’m doing this for three reasons:
- I started hating to cook. I’ve enjoyed cooking since I was a little girl, but it started becoming a task I semi-dreaded.
- I like going to Trader Joe’s, but I don’t love buying meat there (not as good of selection or prices in my opinion). I like buying meat from either Sprouts or HEB (huge local store), but I really don’t like going to more than one grocery store a week.
- We were eating the same boring things all of the time. I wasn’t thinking at all about recipes until the night / hour before grocery shopping and so just made the same things over and over again.
It was clearly time for a change!
I decided trying to meal plan on a monthly, rather than weekly basis. This way, I could get my cookbooks out once instead of every week, which clearly wasn’t happening. Also, I could make a consolidated list of everything I needed from a non-Trader Joe’s store and just go there once a month, instead of debating every week which store to go to for what we needed that week.
So far, it is working great!
The initial process of going through cookbooks and making a grocery list for each week was time consuming, but it was also fun. I chose a few cookbooks and then chose one recipe per week from each book.
This month, I used Thug Kitchen, Oh She Glows Every Day, Salad Love, and America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.
I also chose some things to make from my Baby Led Weaning Cookbook and The Big Book of Recipes for Babies, Toddlers, and Children. James can now eat a lot of the same things we do, but it was fun to find recipes tailored to him and things like healthy sugar-free muffins, etc.
I chose four recipes per week, because we tend to have leftovers and just like to do our own thing some nights (e.g., my husband makes tacos and I make eggs or some kind of grain salad bowl).
After choosing the recipes, I made grocery lists for each different week, and then a separate list of things I’d need from HEB. My husband graciously went and got the HEB stuff because it gets super crowded and it’s huge and I kind of hate going there.
This is our third week of the new plan and so far it is GREAT!
I’m back to grocer shopping once a week and I’m actually excited about the things I’m making again, woohoo! I didn’t track this, but I’m fairly confident it’s good for the grocery budget too since fewer grocery trips means fewer impulse kombucha purchases on my part.
I’m already looking forward to choosing cookbooks and recipes for next month.
Do you meal plan or just wing it?
Do you have a favorite grocery store?