Monday, February 18, 2013

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

I love grocery shopping.  It really is one of my favorite things.  I guess I love all kind of shopping, but groceries are my favorite.  I get really excited when I find a new grocery store to go to.  Clearly, this fits in nicely with my love of cooking and this blog.

One of my other favorite things is making lists.  Yep, I'm a giant dork, but you probably already knew that.  Let's be friends anyways, k?  Thanks.  So, in that spirit, before I go grocery shopping, I make a list.  I like to keep a running one on the fridge, so that when I run out of something I can write it down and not forget.

After I have all the staples written down, I go through my Pinterest and find a few things that I want to eat this week.  I try to keep in mind what things I already have in the pantry/fridge (hello never ending bag of kale...) and find a couple of things that will use it up.  I usually pick 2-4 things to make, two dinners and a lunch.  There are always a ton of leftovers, so for a single gal, having a meal plan that isn't at least half leftovers/recreations doesn't make a lot of sense and leads to food waste.

There are countless meal planning resources out there, and depending on your situation, some of them might be super helpful for you.  Overall, having some kind of plan is going to save money and waste less, both of which are good things in my opinion.  My meal plans tend to be loose.  I figure out how many different meals I can make out of the recipes I'm trying that week, and then fill in the rest of it with food I already have.  For breakfast, I have oatmeal, bagels, or eggs, so the plan is mostly for lunch and dinner.

This week, I will be making Spicy Kale and Chevre PenneSpinach Crust Pizza, and Black Bean Sandwich Spread.  And here are some delightful pictures of what I got. 

This reflects both the things I needed to make my three new recipes and other random things I need all the time, plus mustard, which I buy approximately twice a year.  I've had a lot of success with meal planning as a way to keep my food costs down and my sanity up; why don't you give it a try?

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