A little while ago I asked fans on Facebook if they were interested in learning about how I menu plan for the week so here is your how-to! I am going to first say that if I could be a professional menu planner/grocery shopper I would definitely jump at that opportunity. I get so much joy from planning out and shopping as I do doing the actual baking/cooking. I know that it is one thing that most people dread doing, but I secretly love it. I go to the grocery store once a week, and usually plan out at least 4 meals. After work the only thing I want to do is come home, workout, relax, and cook so going to the store never fits into that plan. I have found that this process helps to save time and money. My plan might not work for everyone, and you need to see what parts of it would work for you. Also keep in mind that I am only feeding two people most nights and do not have the crazy schedules that some of you do. We will see if I can keep this up once we have babies.
First of all I hate trying to maneuver my shopping cart through crowds so I grocery shop on Fridays immediately after work. I used to go on the weekends, but the area where I do my shopping gets a lot of traffic from Philadelphia on the weekends. Blair makes fun of me because on Fridays after work while most people are happy houring I go into full cleaning mode. I would rather get it done on a work day than on my two free days off. Another key to success is shop with a list! Below I share with you what I do on a weekly basis. I have found that this really prevents me from impulse buying. My grocery bill each week is anywhere from $90-$115. I don’t coupon clip, this is something I need to work on. It will be on the higher end if I need to stock up on meat or if we are entertaining. Ever since we bought our house we have cut back to eating only one meal out. We try to work in leftovers as much as possible.
The one thing that I have learned is that you must be organized. If you know me in real life, there are definitely areas in my life that I plan out a little too much. I have certain things that must get done each night before I go to bed and before I leave work. In the end, I think that it helps me stay stress-free. Usually on Thursday nights after work, I make up my menu plan for the following week so that I can go shopping on Friday. If we have plans on Friday to go out with friends or co-workers, I usually shift everything to a day earlier.
After I shop, I come home and put everything away. I make sure to check expiration dates on meats, and place them in the freezer depending on when I plan on using them. If a particular dish seems complicated, I may try and prep the night before. I mix up all my crockpot meals the night before so all I have to do in the morning is take it out and plug it in. Hopefully this inspires and helps some of you with your meal planning! If you have any further questions, leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer it!