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Three Simple Steps to Make a Weekly Grocery and Dinner Plan!

Aug 13, 2013 12:00 am


Sometimes it feels like I should have a sign like this stuck on my refrigerator. My family is in dire need of a grocery shopping and meal planning makeover! Okay, we usually have a little food in the fridge, but not usually things that combine well, unless you like eating a hard boiled egg with a side of carrots for dinner.  Actually... that's exactly what our 3 year old son ate for dinner this evening.... but that's another story!

Okay, having compatible foods in the fridge - just last week, my husband did a quick stop at the supermarket on the way home, but then we still ended up ordering in Chinese, because we didn't have all the ingredients we needed to make what we'd planned. We'd forgot the cabbage for a hamburger cabbage stir fry, (kind of important!), and neither of us had the brain power to think of something else to make. We try not to eat much packaged foods, so Chinese has become a kind of default to having nothing to make for dinner. Another thing we are guilty of is buying ground beef or chicken breasts, and then not being organized enough to use them before they go off in the fridge. This is such a waste of money, and it drives me crazy when this happens. We buy organic meat and chicken whenever possible, so we're throwing away a lot of money!

So, I decided to give myself an intervention. Here are the steps I took:

1) Taking a Food Inventory: Yesterday I went through the fridge, freezer and pantry. I listed all the food we have, and threw out everything that was expired. The fridge was in pretty good shape, but the pantry was embarrassing. Here's a pic of all the food that was well past its use by date.


All the expired food I had to throw away


2) Planning Dinner for 7 Days: Next I compiled a list of 7 dinners that we already know how to make. I don't want to add to the stress by trying out new recipes at this point. The aim is to only do one grocery shop via Fresh Direct for the whole week, and to use up the produce we already have in the fridge. Here's what I've planned for this week. I'm still doing Medifast, so these are all low carb Lean & Green meals, and meals I've already blogged about (follow the links to read about them):

Hamburger Stir Fry
Cauliflower Pizza
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Chicken with Broccoli
Cauliflower Breadsticks
Vegetable Quiche
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Salad



3) Making a Grocery List: Remember how I called this post three "simple" steps? Well...the first two steps were actually pretty easy, but this step was super hard for me. I'm not used to the discipline of thinking about dinner in advance. I had to cross reference 7 recipes with what ingredients we already have, and work out what we needed to buy. I really rebelled against doing this - I did okay with the first two recipes, but then got distracted and went on a random googling adventure. After an hour or so, I had to get my husband Alejandro to sit with me for moral support so I could finish.

Goal: To go a full week without grocery shopping, besides for bread and milk. In four years of marriage, I don't think we've ever achieved this.

Wish me luck! How do you stay on top of your grocery budget and shopping?

groceries, shopping, budget, grocery budget, meal planning, supermarket, dinner, organic

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These types of plan will really helps the women as tension related to dinner and grocery will decrease.

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