Meal Planning Week continues today with advice on tackling the grocery store. Check out the other meal planning posts here.
Ok, you’ve got yourself a plan. High five, team. Good work! Let’s go shopping!
I typically grocery shop on Saturday or Sunday afternoon simply because it works best with my schedule. Weekly grocery shopping is the right pace for me but you may find that twice a week or even every two weeks fits your schedule and/cash flow. You do your thing, we’re all good here.
The pride of my life is that I can get in and out of the grocery store in under 15 minutes. I accept my competitive nature; Leslie Knope is my patronus*. One of the best tips to make your grocery shop efficient is to bring a detailed list. Build your shopping list while you’re deciding on your meals for the week. Organize it to follow the flow of your grocery store. I favor the pocket notebooks from Rifle Paper Co because they are small, unlined, and oh so pretty. My mom uses a legal pad. Some folks use phone apps. There are tons of options here. Again, do your thing. I trust you completely.
Buy Basics Too
I would be remise to not proclaim my love of Trader Joe’s. Joe is my favorite boyfriend. Love that guy. Baring the zombie apocalypse I will always have the following items in my house:
frozen brown rice (I made the decision long ago that it’s 3 minute prep time is worth the slightly inflated price)
black beans (Kat and I have recently been favoring the Cuban style beans but the basic black are old standards)
free range chicken broth ($2/carton every day, best price in town!)
kale (hi, I live in Seattle)
frozen turkey meatballs (use in everything from soup to pasta, pizza to plain)
chili, or other shelf stable soup/stew
raw, unsalted almonds (for snacks or salads)
taco seasoning (we empty the packets into a jar and use as much as needed)
frozen Indian (because we have no shame)
On the surface, these seem totally random but they are the building blocks to so many of my “back pocket dinners”. Add a few perishables to this line up and you can make stir fry, a hearty salad or vegetable soup. Turkey chili and frozen Indian are our last line of defense before ordering take out and I can’t tell you how many times they’ve saved us. They can sit in the pantry or freezer for weeks just waiting for you to need them. So helpful, loyal, and true they are.
Not mentioned but you know it’s always on the list: wine. No one in our house ever claimed to be good.
*In googling that Leslie Knope gif I found the most amazing Buzzfeed quiz. You’re welcome.