I confess: meal planning can be a little daunting. That said, it can save a bundle of time and money throughout the week. I’ve jumped on the train for the last couple of months, and we are loving the results. Here’s how it works:
I keep food separated by areas of the store. It’s easier this way!
On Saturday or Sunday, I take an inventory of our current supplies, then I visit the grocery website in search of sales/coupons.
I plan meals around what we’ve got and what’s the most economical that week. Then go I to the store with a meticulous list. The goal is to hit the grocery one time/week and stick to the plan I’ve mapped out. If I’m hard-headed enough, I can usually make it on both counts.
When I get home, I pull out my knife and get to work. I spend an hour or two, chopping and storing the vegetables that suit themselves to early prep. I find that I dread the chopping less when Vore is home to keep me company, and that weeknight meal prep is ever so much easier when the ingredients are ready to go.
I thought it might be interesting to show you what our pantry, fridge and freezer look like AFTER I have stocked them for the week.
Remember how much I love jars? I save them all, then keep our pantry full of goodies from the bulk bin. Bulk bins help us control how much we buy and are almost always less expensive than packaged goods. This lets you buy organic!
We don’t do a whole lot in the way of canned stuff, but I do usually have sliced olives, pumpkin and diced tomatoes on hand.
As for the fridge, I was feeling particularly zealous this week. I made my almond milk from scratch. This is not the norm–there is usually a big container of Blue Diamond in there! I rarely stock dairy milk anymore, as it seems to bug my stomach. (This horrifies me! Dairy has always been an easy protein for me.) I sometimes have pre-made decaf coffee in a jar, as I don’t do caffeine and the man does. We keep beer and water as well. It’s fun around here!
I’m a huge fan of taking your fresh things out of the crisper and putting them right in front of your face. It will encourage you to add greens to your eggs or choose fruit as a snack instead of something processed.
You can see all my veggies chopped and ready to go in beloved glass lock containers. These are brilliant at keeping fresh things fresh–highly recommended. There’s a big batch of red quinoa in there as well, so I have whole grains ready on the fly.
The freezer and I are besties. For real, I freeze e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! Vore and I have a leftover rule. We eat a meal fresh one time, then dip into the leftovers twice. After that, it’s getting frozen for a time when we aren’t sick of whatever it is.
A few years ago, I invested in a vacuum sealer, and it’s genius at keeping our frozen meals fresh. I also keep my flour and baking supplies in there so they stay fresh.
So there you have it–a week in the grocery life of team Veggie + Vore. How often do you visit the grocery store? Do you plan your meals ahead of time, or come up with something on the fly?