Meal planning and grocery shopping are the bane of my existence most weeks. The number one problem I have is that there are some very picky eaters in my family. As much as I seem to be able to plan, I almost always am coming up short.
In my quest in 2021 to get everything more organized, I’ve vowed to use a shopping list and a meal plan. I was doing this a bit in 2020 and it worked well. I stopped using my list though when it started to be too complicated to find the items I needed. The list I used included an array of items to check off that was just too big for my family.
So a few weeks ago I started my quest to find a new way to do this grocery shopping thing to save myself time, energy and reduce stress that has hovered over this activity in my life for as long as I’ve been with my husband and had the kids.
As much as I want to say I’ve invented a new way to organize my grocery list and meal planning, I haven’t. I have though found two great sources and combined them into one to make my life a hell of a lot easier!
The Minimal Mom
The Minimal Mom is great! She’s got so many ideas on how to make your life more simple and streamlined. Her plan uses a template and a small whiteboard to keep things in order at her house. I already have a whiteboard on our fridge that tells us about the activities of any given week, but after watching this I might need to go out and get another one!
This site has so many great templates on it. They come in Google Sheets format, Excel Format and PDF format so anyone can have access to them.
I really liked the formatting of this template over some of the other ones. I’d suggest browsing through and finding one that appeals to you. The more you like it, the more likely you’ll use it.
After downloading it, I did a little fiddling around to make it more like The Minimal Mom’s List then addd a few lines to each category to cover most of the items that we use in any given month.
Free Printable Grocery List and Shopping List Template (vertex42.com)
Using this system
While you can definitely print out a copy of this and fill it in by hand, I suggest typing it in. It makes it easy to read and if you plan to reuse it the way I do it’s better to just be able to quick print off a copy.
The top section is where I listed out all my regular meals. I turned the categories to Quick Crockpot and Dinner. Yes there are lunches and breakfasts to buy for but those items will be on the list with extra spaces in case we want to do something special in a given week.
Next, or rather as I was filling in the meals I could think of I tried to think of all the ingredients that go into every meal. I filled in those sections and added extra lines to any section that needed more.
Time to print!
The best way I’ve found to make sure that these systems will stick is to get a clipboard and hang it in the kitchen. The Minimal Mom has hers on her fridge, but mine is a little crowded so the clipboard works well too.
As I find that I need items I highlight the name of the item, then when I take my list to the store I can check it off on the paper as I put them into my cart.
Be sure to check out the sources above and leave me a message if you want to see a copy of my page and I’ll post it on my Facebook page for everyone to look at!