Hi all! Coach Stefanie here again! Back for week two of my Once-a-Month Shopping Routine
Welcome back to my series on bulk grocery buying!Now of course once a month grocery buying isn't for everyone. I've just learned to really love it. There are tons of benefits to frequent grocery shopping. I've just found better consistency in spending, health, and wellness in my bulk buying trips.
- The Why: Grocery Planning 101
- The How: Meal Planning for a Month
- The Secret to Success: Frozen Foods
- The Day-to-Day: Tactical Tools
In order to stay organized and have everything I will need during the month, it is important for me to create a meal plan for those 4 weeks. I want this plan to be flexible enough to accommodate my schedule and needs while also making the day-to-day meals easy. So, I usually try to group items into categories and eat some of the same meals.
It has never bothered me to eat a meal twice or, in the case of breakfast, non-stop. If you do not like eating leftovers, you may need to adjust your plan accordingly. I tend to plan one breakfast per week (with the exception of Saturday and Sunday) and a dinner for each day that doubles as my lunch for the next day. I also keep room for snacky dinners or eating out since we love these in my house.
Some common breakfast choices for me include pancakes, egg bakes, breakfast sandwiches and yogurt. I like starting my day with something quick and easy. If it is something I need to heat up, I can do so easily in my office. Most of my breakfast will stay good once prepared but just to be on the safe side, I tend to throw about half of it in the freezer. You could also create a plan that involves 2 breakfast choices to avoid any issues with food going bad.
Having the calendar helps me know what to shop for, as well as keeping flexibility in my meals. I don't always eat what I planned for that specific day's dinner, but rather pick and choose from the dinners on my calendar. That way, I can prepare what I am in the mood for but still have all the supplies available. I also have a go to when I simply don't know what I want to make. One thing I hate about meal plans in general is that I want to eat what I am in the mood for. Planning for a longer timeframe still gives me that opportunity. We also often freeze extra portions so at the end of the month we still have the flexibility to grab one of the leftover dishes and roll a meal into the next month.
I have attached the template I use so you can get started on your month long plan as well. For new dinner ideas, I like pulling recipes from Pinterest. I actually have one board for food ideas and once I decide to use a meal during a month, I move it to a secret board for that month. That way, I can easily find the recipe when I am preparing and cooking dishes.
Creating this meal plan takes me about an hour, which includes writing a grocery list for items I don't have on hand. Then I will tackle a store like Costco or Sam's club to grab the items needed from my list. Some of the smaller things might not be available there so while I am at Costco, I put items into my Walmart grocery pickup cart. Then I will pick those up later that same day or send my husband the next day while I work on my prep.
I hope this was another helpful insight into my once a month grocery hauls! Don't forget to download the simple calendar graphic below and save it for your files. Remember, give yourself time and grace in grocery planning. No one is the perfect shopper!
Read Part 1 HERE
Read Part 3 HERE
Read Part 4 HERE