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Week 2|2019: How Meal Planning Can Improve Your Week

While I did a complete post about Meal Planning last year, I didn’t really touch about shopping once your meal plan is in place. However, don’t ask my husband about my grocery list or how I go about unloading our grocery cart… It’s a little wacky {I admit that I may be slightly OCD about it. Everything just so – unloaded from the cart how it will be put away when we get home. And DO NOT even think about pulling all the things out of the bags to set them on the counter rather than directly placing them where they belong. Who on earth wants to handle everything multiple times?! Hello – let’s be efficient people!! We’ve got things to do.}

Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping

For those who missed the Meal Planning Post – you can find it here. The most important part of Meal Planning is to look at your calendar for the week and plan your meals accordingly. I know this sounds like SO much work but I promise it will improve your week! Who wants to get to the end of a long day only to decide what on earth is for dinner?! Or have to run to the store to grab something for dinner a few times a week? Let alone have all the kiddies nagging you about what is for dinner. If you’ve planned ahead and can post it on the refrigerator there will be NO question. And although everyone may not be happy with the evening’s dinner selection, at least it will be decided & planned.

Don’t put it off any longer – get to it! Start putting together a list of go to meals that your family loves. Think all sorts of meals – quick & easy week night meals; meals for when you may have time for a little more prep; breakfast for dinner; soup & salad or sandwiches; etc. Pinterest is a great resource as well {create a board for yourself, it’s like a virtual recipe box}.

Once you have an arsenal of meal ideas in place, meal planning becomes much simpler. Choose a day of the week that works best for you to plan for the week & then shop accordingly per the meals planned.

Below is a sample Meal Plan –


Sunday: Pasta & Meatballs with Caesar Salad

Monday: Taco Salads

Tuesday: BLTs with Pasta Salad

Wednesday: Chili, Salad & Italian Bread

Thursday: Chicken French, Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans

Friday: Pizza Night {either frozen pizzas or take out}

Saturday: TBD


Now on to the grocery list… this sounds completely crazy but I divide our grocery list up by how our grocery store is set up so that I don’t forget things as I go up/down the aisles. I also try to meal plan and purchase the “family pack” of meat/poultry and other items for the savings based on our weekly menu {thus the menu above…. meatballs, tacos & chili in the same week all using ground beef}. Once I get home, I divide the package up in to the number of portions I need for the meals that I have planned and place it in zip loc bags.

Sample Grocery List

The categories for our grocery list are as follows:






Canned/Dry Goods





Another great suggestion would be to set up grocery lists on your grocery store app based on weekly meal plans. Sure, this would take some leg work but how lovely would it be to have a rotation of five or six meal plans with five or six grocery lists with the staples for those meals on it & then be able to just run to the store?! A Mama’s dream come true! OR better yet, placing your grocery order online for pick up or delivery once your list is in place. {Have you used this service? I have friends that do & rave about it but I don't trust others to pick out my stuff... crazy, maybe?!}

Not that you need more reasons to start meal planning/grocery shopping per the plan BUT... less visits to the store each week means less spending! And planned meals means less fast food/take out during the week because you have your menu prepared! More savings. So not only does meal planning save you time {and your sanity}, it saves you money!


2019 is your year - No more excuses that you don't have time. We've all got time, we just need to manage it wisely and be more efficient because life is busy for everyone.

Still not sure on those meal ideas? Here are some favorites of ours {minus breakfast for dinner, that's only allowed when Ben isn't eating with us.} Smith Family Favorite's List

And our Weekly Menu Planner that's kept in a frame on our counter & used each week with a dry erase marker.


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