When we have good food in our home, we will eat good food.
I worked in the grocery industry for over five years before changing gears and working on becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. During my years in the store, I frequently noticed the overwhelmed shopper who showed up without a plan and ended up purchasing every demo and sample item on the sales floor. If that sounds familiar, I’m glad you are here! For the beginners ya’ll, I’m going to break it down into four basic steps to get you started on your journey to weekly meal planning!
Step One & Two – Find & Collect Culinary Inspiration
This can be from anywhere – cooking channels, newspapers, blogs, cookbooks, a great recipe you had at a potluck. You get the idea, inspiration is everywhere! The hard part is so often we think of a recipe but never actually write down that thought. For instance, you think hmmm it’s been a while since I made Mrs. Smith’s Famous Spaghetti the key is to write it down somewhere.
I like to start a Pinterest Board titled “This Weeks Eats” and pin things I intend to make. I think it is the easiest way to organize recipes. Even if your recipe isn’t on the internet you can pin a picture of spaghetti and for the description type something like “Make Mrs. Smith’s Famous Spaghetti for dinner. Recipe in kitchen drawer.” This should help you remember your idea and take action.
Step Three – How Many Meals/Dishes Do You Need
I prefer to grocery shop weekly so I try to plan five dinners, one special treat, and a lunch for the weekdays. This is what works for my household, adapt it to what works for yours. Review your culinary collection and see how many more recipes you need. Repeat step one and two to find the remaining meals you would like to make.
I personally think this saves our household money and allows me to create balanced meals. Life can be hectic and the last thing you want after a long day is to realize you forgot a key piece of your dinner. Like eggs for egg tacos (Guilty).
Step Four – Create Your Shopping List
Write down what you intend to make for the week. Review each recipe to see what you need. If you are budget-conscious, be sure to double check your fridge and pantry to make sure you don’t duplicate items! Build your shopping list from the items you wrote down.
If you want, reorganize your list into sections such as frozen items, pantry items, produce etc. to make your shopping trip more efficient 😉 Now you are ready to head out the door to the grocery store, farmers market or wherever you buy your groceries.
Save your handwritten meal plans and reuse them on a busy week when you don’t have as much time to plan!
Thanks for stopping by ya’ll!