How To Make Healthy Easy By Planning Meals and Groceries
We’ve all been there…you get home and don’t know what to make for dinner or don’t have the ingredients you need to make something good, so you settle for something less than tasty and not so healthy.
I was tired of this feeling! That, and the frustration of getting to the grocery store and having no idea what I should put in my cart so I just ended up with a hodge-podge of crap I didn’t actually need or use.
Well, not anymore! Take charge and organize your meal planning and grocery shopping so you can eat healthy, reduce stress, and always have something delicious to prepare.
1) Plan out your week (or two!)
First thing’s first. You have to do some planning if you want to stay organized. Taking a few minutes to lay out what you would like to eat for the next week or two can do a world of good for your stress levels and your taste buds.
Once a week (usually the day before I go grocery shopping) I sit down and list out 7 meals (see why only 7 in the FAQ below!) I would like to make in the next week. Below each meal, I list all the ingredients that I will need to make that meal and how much of each one I need. Check out my free printable Biweekly Meal Planner!
This is the creative part of this process! Have a little fun with it and go check out new recipes on Pinterest, tap into your favorite cookbook and pick out an old favorite, or make something up on the fly! I have a stack of some of my favorite recipes on index cards, which makes it really easy to list out all the ingredients!
2) Categorize your shopping list
Once you have all of your meals planned out, it is time to transfer the ingredients you need onto the shopping list. I usually leave off the ingredients I already have, like olive oil or flour, but you can put them all on the list and then cross off what you already have at the end, if you prefer.
The key to making your grocery shopping a breeze is to categorize your shopping list by sections in the store. Keep all your produce in one list, your canned and boxed goods in another, your cold or frozen goods in another. This helps you avoid running around the grocery store with no direction or back and forth if you forget something. You can download my free Grocery Shopping Organizer to help you out!
Then, it is as simple as going through your list of meals and transferring all of your necessary ingredients to their corresponding grocery store section list. Need a tomato? Mark that down in the produce section. I like to keep tallies behind the produce or products that I need more than one of and then total them when I am done!
Now all there is to do is to enjoy your hassle free grocery shopping and your healthy, delicious, and well planned meals! It is a breeze to get through the grocery store efficiently when you know what you need and where it is. Each night when you are ready to make dinner, take a look at your list of meals and choose one that sounds good!
It is so lovely knowing you have all the ingredients you need to make each meal and that you can make healthy and delicious options without the stress. Now go download my helpful printouts and get to planning!
Why does your printout only include 7 meals each week? What about breakfast and lunch??
Great question! I’ve found that the hardest meal to plan and execute is dinner. Most people have breakfast staples that they rotate through on a regular basis and if you plan right, you can usually have leftovers plenty enough for lunch the next day! You can absolutely add any additional products for breakfast or lunch to your Grocery Shopping List. If you prefer, print out a planner for every meal! You can plan your breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and even snacks, if you like) for each day and then transfer all the info onto one grocery list…BOOM!
Why does your Grocery List only have 6 categories?
I have used a list like this for a really long time and have found that even if I add other categories, I tend not to use them. I decided to keep it as simple as I could for ease of use. Now, everyone is different so adding a category or two may be beneficial for you. If so, do it! Customize however you see fit to make your life easier. Also, I included the Miscellaneous category on purpose for those hard to place products or for additional items you often need at a store like shampoo or paper towels!