Meal Planning Examples: Steal My Personal Meal Planning + Grocery Shopping System Steal My 15 Healthy Freezer Meals on a Budget {Follow-Along Video + Printable Ingredients List} Steal My 2 Week Meal Plan on a Budget {Free Printable Ingredients List}

Looking for meal planning examples that save on both time AND money? Let me outline my efficient meal planning strategy that also saves you money.

I'm a systems person.

In my biz, in my personal life − really anywhere that I can find a system to repeat and optimize − I'm going to do it.

Some things have become so second-nature to me that I forget it's a system (rather than just repeated steps I just do).

Like my meal planning system.

It occurred to me the other day that I've had a meal planning + grocery shopping system in place for years now and have never thought to document it to share with you all.

Boo to that!

Get the reel-to-reel action behind my personal meal planning + grocery shopping system here (16:12).

Let me break it down for you:

We Grocery Shop Every Other Week

The first thing you need to know is that we grocery shop every other week. This was an intentional method we started during an effort to save money + energy back in 2009.

And it's paid off big time.

Questioning whether or not you can get your food to last two weeks (without coming down with scurvy)? It's totally doable to not only have your food last for two weeks, but to also enjoy fruits and veggies throughout the process.

Questioning whether or not you can get your food to last two weeks? It's totally doable to not only have your food last for two weeks, but to also enjoy fruits and veggies throughout the process. Click To Tweet

Where I Source the Recipes I'm Going to Make

On the day of my grocery shopping trip, I (generally) sit down to excitedly pick out recipes I get to make over the next two weeks.

There are three places that I source these recipes:

  1. Pinterest Account: It's fun to repin gorgeous-looking, food photos and to-die-for recipes…but I actually want to try them out! So I make sure to open up my laptop to my Pinterest account and choose a recipe or two that I want to try from several of my meal boards.
  2. My Recipe Binder: I've had a binder for years where I store recipes torn from magazines. Yeah, I'm a total organization geek. But can you think of a better way to keep all those torn out recipes from magazines you wanna try?
  3. My Recipe Caddy: I purchased a recipe caddy from the dollar store as a teenager because it's always been important to me to document recipes that I'd like to keep + pass on one day (sniffle!). A recipe has to blow my mind to make the cut into this caddy. Now that I'm married, it's gotta blow two minds. (Confession: for very sentimental recipes, I write where it came from or where we made it in the top right corner of the note card. Like Paul's Potato Soup he made us in Williamsburg, VA, or Paul's grandmother's sweet potato casserole she used to make each Thanksgiving. It adds a personal touch that makes me smile + maintains the history).

I typically choose 2-3 new recipes I want to try making. Then the rest are from the trusty recipe caddy.

Paul also loves to cook (I got me a winner!), so he adds his ingredients to the list when he has time.

Gathering Ingredients

We keep a magnetized notepad stuck to our fridge. As we run out of ingredients, they go on the list (this is key to a non-stressful, grocery prep time).

On meal planning day, I grab this list and add to it from the recipes I've chosen. During this time, I also check in our cupboards/freezer/etc. to see if we already have an ingredient so that we don't accidentally buy duplicates.

Note: when do we buy duplicates? When there's a sale on an ingredient that we use over and over again, as long as the item will not expire before we can use it. For example, when macaroni noodles go on sale from $1.16 to 10/$10, I buy two boxes because I know we'll be eating our treasured butternut squash mac'n'cheese recipe consistently. Or when butter goes on sale, I buy two, and freeze one à la Julia Childs.  

Keep On Track with the Magical Recipes Folder

Then I put all of the chosen recipes I'm going to use in my trusty recipe folder that's kept on the desk in our kitchen. That's what I refer to during the week when figuring out what to cook instead of having to look everything up in the moment or try to remember what the heck I mapped out to make.

PSSST: Yes, I'm a planning geek…but not to the point where I choose X day I'm going to cook Y recipe. I leave it a little spontaneous!

Further Time + Money Saving Grocery Tips

When I come back from grocery shopping and Paul and I unpack, we put the unused portions of products in front of or on top of new items, with the newer items behind or below. This is so that we use them up first before they expire.

I also try to clean the fridge out on grocery shopping days before hitting the store since it's much more empty anyway. I say try, because it doesn't always happen.

That's my meal planning + grocery shopping system in a nutshell. Share your own below. Or if you wing it, share that too!

Your Meal Plan + Grocery Strategy Hook Up:

Meal Planning Examples: Steal My Personal Meal Planning + Grocery Shopping System
Steal My 15 Healthy Freezer Meals on a Budget {Follow-Along Video + Printable Ingredients List}
Steal My 2 Week Meal Plan on a Budget {Free Printable Ingredients List}

We do some things differently than the average bear...like grocery shopping every other week. Huge money, + energy saver. Questioning whether your food can last 2 weeks (w/o coming down with scurvy)? It's totally doable to not only have your food last for two weeks, but to also enjoy fruits and veggies throughout the process. Check out the rest of my meal-planning + grocery shopping system (VIDEO) | https://www.frugalconfessions.com/food/steal-personal-meal-planning-grocery-shopping-system.php

2 replies
    • Amanda L Grossman
      Amanda L Grossman says:

      Thanks so much, Julie! Not at the moment. I’ll keep your couponing request in mind for future posts:). Tune into the next two Mondays for upcoming posts on how I do a freezer cooking day, and a meal plan for two weeks’ worth of dinners.

      Reply

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