Sunday, July 15, 2018

Meal Planning + Grocery Shopping


Last week on Instagram I used the new "Ask me a Question" feature on Instastories. I got a ton of different questions and shared the answers on my story. One of the questions I got several times was about our meal planning and grocery shopping routine.

As we continue to make our lives more and more simple one of the areas we've really been able to make that happen is in meal planning and grocery shopping. Every week Adam and I plan our meals for the week together and make a grocery list accordingly. Our goal each week is to make as many meals as we can with things we already have at home (including whatever we have from our garden) and stay within $100 each week with our groceries. This naturally helps us save money but also helps us create the most simple meals we can with simple ingredients. Simple meals=easy prep + easy clean up. Also, we really believe that feeding our boys simple foods helps create non-picky eaters. Something I read in the book 'Simplicity Parenting' is that high flavored foods such as Doritos actually make more simple foods such as carrots less flavorful. I won't say my kids never eat foods like that because that's just not true but our everyday foods, the foods that are available in our home and the foods we serve at mealtimes, are typically more simple.

We typically cook at home 4-5 nights per week, we have small group once a week where we eat dinner (we rotate hosting so every 5-6 weeks we cook for our whole group at our house), and we go out 1-2 nights per week. We also don't really buy a ton of processed snack foods. We usually get veggie straws and/or goldfish but other than that the boys eat fresh fruit and veggies for most snacks.


Something that we used to do that I found very helpful for creating a simple and rhythmic dinner time was having different types of meals on certain days each week. For example: Monday- chicken, Tuesday- pasta, Wednesday- soup, etc. We did that for the first few years of our marriage but it's definitely something I think we'll go back to eventually. It makes planning and prep very simple but also creates some consistency for the boys.

As far as grocery shopping we have found that we can get the best deals and the best selection at our Walmart Neighborhood Market. I don't know if it's because it's not a typical Walmart or if its because it's still fairly new but we are SO impressed with the selection and availability. It is so clean, they have good produce, and are never out of stock. We switched to Kroger for about a year because of the Clicklist option but once our Neighborhood Market started offering pickup we switched back!


Grocery pickup obviously has major perks like not having to get out of the car with two toddlers BUT for us the financial aspect has been why we use it so much. Since we like to keep to our less than $100 budget each week this really helps us stay on track. We typically place our grocery order on Saturday afternoon and we pickup after church on Sundays. This has become a routine that the boys come to expect.

By having this routine in place meal planning and grocery shopping really aren't something we dread. They are just part of our weekly routine and something that we can do effortlessly at this point. If you are someone who struggles to meal plan try simplifying the types of dinners you cook. The less ingredients you are searching the grocery store for, the less time you're preparing dinner because you know the recipe by heart, the more time you have to spend with your family, and the less stressed out you are when it comes time to sit around the table.

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This past weekend I decided to take a little hiatus from social media. A couple of different factors contributed to my decision but I'm excited to see what the Lord teaches me over the next few weeks or months. I'm not sure how long I'll be gone but I do plan to continue blogging so check back occasionally for new posts :)

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