Tag Archives: Meal Planning

Wildcard Wednesday: 3 Basic Grocery Planning Tips + FREE Printable

I’ve touched a bit in the past about my love for organization, planning, and all things being-ahead-of-the-game. Mostly because I’m usually far, far from ahead. And you know what? Being behind is a really crummy feeling. I’m not good at flying by the seat of my yoga pants. I realized a while ago that I need to set myself up for success. That’s where my grocery list has become a life-saver.

Today, I want to give you my favorite three tips for staying on top of my grocery list. And if you make it to the end, I’ll even have a little printable gifty.

  1. Schedule time to meal plan and make your grocery list.
    To save a lot of time, you have to spend a little time dedicated to your meals for the week. For me, this works best on Sunday afternoons. I have an arsenal of quick, easy family recipes through Pinterest, my Google Drive, and my old-fashioned recipe box at home. I sit down, browse for a few minutes, and pick a few meals for the week. Not more than a few, though. One night is for leftovers, and the weekend is usually hubby’s realm.
  2. Plan all week. All the time.
    This might be counterintuitive to what I wrote above, but hear me out. Have a “list in progress” all the time. And set yourself up for success by pre-dividing the list into specific food/product categories.

    The way I accomplish this is through a couple of inexpensive items. I bought a frame at the dollar store. It’s not super high-quality, but it gets the job done. If you invest a little in a frame, it’ll likely last just about forever.

    File_000

    I also bought a few fine-tipped dry-erase markers. Inside the frame, I have a template list I typed up quite some time ago. (Can you see “diapers” is still on that? We haven’t purchased diapers for quite a while.) It is divided by categories, and then I have lists of common pantry/fridge staples. These are foods that I purchase often for recipes or otherwise. With a checkbox next to each item, I can easily mark an item when we need it. I also have blank lines at the end of the list, so I can fill in any random items I may need. Then, when I get to my Sunday planning time, it makes it super easy to…

  3. Get into the grocery store. Grab only what you need. Get out.
    When I have an easy-to-follow list of the items I need, it makes it simple to avoid impulse purchases, stay within budget, and buy mostly healthy foods. I personally feel less tempted to browse and think, “Oh, that Brownie Brittle looks so good…one package can’t hurt. Oooh, wait, look at those Bunny Grahams. Those look good, too.”

    giphy

    After checkmarking all my items, a la tip number 2, I simply add them to my condensed list for the store. This list is also…can you guess?…DIVIDED into categories! I bet you’re shocked.

    Again, this makes it easy to head to a certain section of the store, grab each item, cross ’em off, and BAM. No running back and forth across the store to grab those things you forget, and you’re in the checkout line just in time for your kiddo to ask “Can I get a cookie?” for the eight millionth time.

These all may sound like simple things, but sometimes simple things are the most efficient. And I’m a sucker for efficiency.

On a related note, I’ve been playing around with creating my own printables lately, and I decided to share one for the very first time. Go here to download a simple grocery list that will *hopefully* save you a little bit of time! If nothing else, it’s kinda fun colors and patterns and fonts. So there’s that. I’m still working on my skillz. (Let me know if the link isn’t working. Like I said, I’m new at this!)

All righty then. That’s just a brief wrap-up of how I make my grocery list. Do you have any special tips from your own meal-planning or list-making? Let me know in the comments!

Please also let me know if you’re interested in learning more about my other “lists.” I’m always down to share tips from an organizational maniac. After all, the more time I save at home, the more time I can spend playing Candy Crush running.

SHOP

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4/7/17: Fantastic Friday

Hello, hello!

Phew. What a whirlwind of a week. It started in a not-so-great way with a sick munchkin. She actually had a tummy bug last Saturday that tapered by Monday. And then it reared its ugly head again in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

In between, we attended the Twins home opener, which was mostly a disaster. Not for the Twins, who would go on to sweep the 2015 World Series champions. But for us with a whiny preschooler who wanted nothing to do with noise or outside. Presumably because she still wasn’t feeling well.

Even though she was whiny, she was still a pretty good sport and I told her she could get a stuffy toy. She had her pick of teddy bears and stuffed puppies and monkeys. What did she choose? Stuffed Joe Mauer. Naturally. And now he is one of her best buds.

At the (*knock on wood*) end of it, I am very tired of dealing with bodily fluids. I am taking my vitamin C and sneaking in my early morning runs and praying I do not catch the bug. Think healthy thoughts!

I have two very exciting pieces of news.

  1. I recently contacted Minneapolis Running to let them know I was interested in writing for them. They said yes, and if you follow my Facebook page, you’ll know my very first article ran this morning. I haven’t had an opportunity before now to do anything like this, so I am incredibly grateful! Head on over there, show them some love, and check out my post if you get a chance.
  2. This week, I was accepted to the Crisis Text Line volunteer training program. I’m really excited to help people in a way that utilizes my own strengths. I hope I am able to make a positive contribution to this amazing organization, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity!
    My training begins the end of May and involves 34 hours of training, education, and hands-on simulation. Then, I will serve one 4-hour shift each week for a year. I look forward to it.

Well, I’m off to rest up for Goldy’s 10 Miler on Sunday. Am I ready? Probably not. Am I hopeful it’ll go well? Definitely. Am I confident? Ehhhh…we’ll see. I love running in the cities, though. So it’ll be great. Right?…Right?

Cassie

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3/28/17: Tasty Tuesday

I did it! I came back like I said I would! Aren’t you proud? (Cue the crickets.)

Well, meal planning wasn’t exactly my strong suit this week. I know I have much smoother weeks when I do plan out everything on Sunday afternoon/evening, but I am realistic. It’s not always gonna happen. Life happens.

Luckily, hubby ran to the store late Sunday night to get at least one recipe’s worth of ingredients. I’ve wanted to try stuffed peppers for quite some time, and they jumped to the top of the recipe pile as I was shuffling through my food folder. What better time than a Monday?

I used a recipe I found a few weeks ago on the Poundfit blog, and…yum! They took a little more preparation time than anticipated, and I also neglected to see the part where they bake for 30-40 minutes. Still, we had a delicious and healthy meal hot from the oven around 7:00 PM.

Verdicts:
-Hubby: thumbs way up! By the end of the meal, he was talking about tweaks we could make, and he was excited to take the leftover filling to work with him. It’s a good standalone mix, too.

-LJ: meh, okay, if I must. We have a bit of a sassy attitude and picky eating thing going on these past few days. (Yay for spirited 3-year-olds!) It has been challenging. I did get her to take some reluctant bites, which she said tasted good. But then she’d say the next bite I offered was going to be yucky. We continue to push foods that she has decided she doesn’t like, though, because it usually takes several tries with kiddos before they realize, “Hey, maybe this isn’t so bad.” The more exposure, the better in our household.

-Me: yes, pretty great, thanks. I used a combination of red peppers and green peppers, and I have to say the red peppers complement the recipe much better. In the future, I’ll plan on using red. I also wanted a little more pow to it, so I may tweak it with  chili powder or cumin in the future. I also would like to incorporate some other veggies in there. This seems like a very versatile recipe.

On the schedule for my evening: Ironstrength DVD workout. I like that it’s made with runners in mind, and I love the short segments. 99% of the time, I try not to fall for the ad emails I receive. This one really caught me, though, and I am glad it did. I love Runner’s World and trust their products, so it seemed pretty-low risk. I also heard Dr. Metzl (creator of Ironstrength) on a podcast, and he was fantastic.
The first time I did the workout, I just about vomited. But in a good way. Is there a good way? If there were, this would be it. It worked my muscles and body in a new, effective way. And it scares me a little bit before I start it each time. Sometimes, it’s good to do things that scare you a little bit.

Enjoy your evening! Go do something a little scary.

Cassie

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