Easy Peasy Grocery List

Super Simple Meal Planning

My oldest daughter and I were talking the other night about meal planning, food prep, and eating out. You see, she recently got married and is doing a great job at feeding her family great meals.

She told me, “I’m so glad that you taught me how to plan meals and make a grocery store list.” It turns out that quite a few of her also recently married friends are struggling with it.

This post is just a quick glance into my easy peasy way to make a meal plan and then write a grocery list based on that plan. Sure you can get more complicated and that’s perfectly fine, but if you are looking for something simple, maybe this will help.

I’ve used a lot of different worksheets throughout the years, but I keep coming back to a simple sheet of notebook paper. I shop every two weeks so I plan meals for that time period. In the interest of full disclosure, I do have to make small trips to the grocery store for veggies, milk, or something I forgot occasionally during the two week time period. Also, this is just my grocery list for Wal-Mart. I have a separate list for Sam’s. Because feeding eight people three meals a day requires a lot of food.

2 Week Meal Plan

There are four simple steps to making a complete grocery list.

  1. The first thing I do is write down the dates toward the bottom of the paper. As a side note, I often flip the meals around. So I might write minestrone soup for tonight but we might have the vegetarian spaghetti instead. My meal planning is flexible, which is why I also use my menu board that is easily erasable.
  2. Next, I write down the grocery store categories at the top of the page.
  3. Once the dates and categories are written down, I begin filling in the dinner meal options for each day.
  4. As I write down a meal, I immediately write down any ingredients I need to purchase at the top of the page in the proper category. This way I don’t forget that I need those Italian green beans for minestrone soup and only remember when I’m assembling the ingredients. (Not that hasn’t happened a time or two!)

I don’t write down lunches, snacks, and breakfasts anymore, although I did at one time. By now, I know what I need for those meals and we often have leftovers for lunch. Well, if there is anything left over after my three, yes three, teenage boys finish dinner.

You might wonder whether meal planning and careful grocery shopping make a difference when it comes to weight loss. It definitely can.

If you are anything like I am, I eat much better when I have planned out the food for the day. It’s those days when I don’t really know what I’m going to eat that gets me in trouble.

There is some accountability to yourself if you’ve planned your meals and purchased all the ingredients you need for the coming days or weeks. Also, if you have everything on hand, you don’t need to run by the store or forget eating at home and instead head out.

This may be a basic post for some of you, but I’m hoping that it will be helpful to others. Try making a simple grocery list and see if it helps you stay on track this next week!

Any suggestions to help other people who may struggle with list making and/or meal planning? Diane

4 thoughts on “Easy Peasy Grocery List

  1. Barbara Ruka says:

    I have actually made a list on my computer. I print one off and on the back I write my meals down. On the other side I just circle the ingredients I need. When I first put it together (25 years ago), I spent a few hours going through the store, and writing down everything I usually buy. I went home and typed it up in order. So the produce is all together, The frozen is all together, etc. Works in most stores. The last column is only half full. Below that I write things I may need that I don’t normally buy. Usually only a few items. So each week, I just print out a sheet and go from there. It has worked well for my married daughters too.

  2. Janis says:

    Just a suggestion that the categories you’ve written down are really good ones that reminds me of that adage that half of your plate should be fresh produce. As you’ve categorized things on that sheet of paper, there really isn’t a place to write “pop tarts,” which should help people avoid buying that sort of stuff.

    Hope you’ve been well!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      I have been well – thank you! And I hope you have too.

      I did deliberately leave off that “junk food” category. . . In the past I might have called it “Just for Me” foods!

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