Do you dread planning meals for the week? Read here how you can save time by meal planning + be efficient when you shop!
2 Tips + 5 Hacks + Free Printable + 3 Lazy Weeknight Recipes Below!
Mondays! Somehow the weekend got away from me and I found myself wandering around the grocery store on my way home from work Monday evening. No meals planned and no grocery list. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. This made me realize how unproductive I am without a plan. Guaranteed, I’ll be doing another grocery run this week because I forgot something!
Two Step Planning to be Efficient at The Grocery Store
Step #1 – Meal Plan
Plan ahead! Sunday mornings I look at the week and figure out how many meals we need to make at home with kid’s activities, date nights, etc. in the mix. I pull from a variety of recipe books and my Pinterest Weeknight Meals board for meal inspo. I always have at least one “lazy weeknight dinner” on my list. Something easy to throw together for the nights I just don’t feel like cooking. I love a good sheet pan recipe!
*Free Printable* Link to my 3 Weeknight Meal Recipes at the bottom of page or in your email if subscribed.
Step #2 – Make a List
There is nothing worse than getting home to realize you’ve forgotten something at the store. I prefer to write my shopping list out, but there are several apps that make it easy to pull your list together. AnyList, Opt Up, Mealime and Out of Milk to name a few. If you can find 5-minutes to write out your list I promise you 10-minutes saved at the store by using my Grocery List Printable. That’s enough time to pick-up a Starbucks pre-grocery run momma! Here’s the skinny. I categorize my list by items in the store (i.e. dairy, produce, meat counter, deli) and not by meal – it’s thy easy! This is the key to being grocery store efficient. Quickly cruise through the store so you aren’t doubling back from one side of the store to the other. Time is precious mommas, don’t waste it wandering around the grocery store.
*Free Printable* Link to Grocery List printable at the bottom of page or in your email if subscribed.
Must Read 5 Grocery Store Hacks for Moms
- The Parking Lot: Park next to a cart return! If this is something you don’t already do, then make it a habit momma! It’s much safer to put your kiddo(s) in the car first and then unload the groceries. God forbid the cart roll away while you’re unloading a bag with your kiddo in it. You also don’t want to leave your kids in the car and walk halfway across the parking lot to return a cart.
- The Cart: Once your kiddos are old enough not to be strapped hang your bag on the side of the cart by using the lap strap. This makes room for your toddler (aka second child) to ride in the cart if you have a little one in the seat. I did this with my reusable bags too!
- The Meat Counter: Cut meal prep time and ask the butcher to trim the meat for you. They can trim the fat, portion down cuts of meat to what your recipe calls for, etc. I use this especially with chicken (trim the fat please!) and pork chops when a recipe calls for a specific thickness.
- The Deli: Don’t stand around and wait for 3 lbs of meat and cheese to be sliced. Place your order all at once so you can cruise around and pick up other items in the area. That’s at least 5-minutes saved right there!
- The Check-Out: If you used my categorized shopping list then this will be a breeze! Place your items on the belt in order of all things produce, cold / freezer items together, chips/bread/eggs at the end so they can go on top of bags. Some checkers are more efficient than others, but for the chatty Kathys that take forever, help them out to get those bags packed faster and in the most efficient way.
*Subscribers can download the Recipe Card + Grocery List printable in The MomSpot Content Library!
A Note to New Mothers: Use the grocery store as a way to get out of the house. Don’t look at it as daunting or stressful, make it something you look forward to because you have a plan going into it. I remember in those early days and weeks with a new baby it’s seems impossible to leave the house, but with a few tips and pre-panning I’m telling you that you got this momma. Seems obvious, but be sure to feed baby before you go to the store and/or pump ahead of time. I’ve made the mistake of not doing this and had to abandon my cart and go feed my son mid-grocery run. Go at nap time! Pop your babe into a carrier and use this time to let your baby sleep while you get your shopping done. I always found the hustle and bustle of the store put both my kids to sleep.
Toddler Mom Advice: Simply avoid the grocery store with your kids in tow! This isn’t always the case so when the littles join you make sure it’s not at nap time and that you have snacks. Also use the potty first! I’ve made it a habit that we first stop in the bathroom before we start shopping. There is nothing worse than having a cart full of groceries and a kiddo who needs to go potty. I also like to bring something for my kiddos to hold onto in the cart to keep them busy. A toy, the shopping list, a snack! PS…WholeFood shoppers, did you know they have a complimentary snack basket at Customer Service? Best kept mom secret, pass it along!
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