I kind of geek out about my list making. There are a few steps.
First we look at our schedules. We know we are more successful eating paleo when we are intentional. So success starts with the grocery list. First we look at what days are we working late, what nights are going to be busy, what nights are we not going to have energy to cook.
Rob and I also share cooking responsibility. Usually whomever gets off work first makes dinner but on the days we both work late we work together and try to make dinners that don’t take long to prep.
From there, we make a meal plan. I try to plan for 6 dinners, with enough leftovers for lunches, plus some fruit eggs and meats for breakfast. I’m ready for fall foods, so we are eating a lot of hearty soups and sweet potatoes this week. Yum!
I write the meal plan on the grocery list, because it comes in handy as a reference in case I need to make changes. -Sometimes something unexpected will be on sale or something we didn’t think of will be in season. Here is this week’s menu:
From there I break the list into 4 categories. I do this to avoid cross crossing the grocery store. Here is my breakdown:
Fresh– everything found in the produce section
Protein- chicken, fish, beef, salted meats, and eggs
Specialty-anything found in the “health mart” section of our grocer or anything we get from a separate store, like our butcher
Other– this can be dog food, household items like light bulbs and toothpaste, or just general pantry items like chicken broth
When I make my list I start with the menu and go dish by dish writting everything I need for that dish under the corresponding heading.
Then we add the odds and ends we need to for around the house. Any snacks we want etc.
The last thing I do is estimate how much each section will cost. We don’t buy many exotic ingredients and I can usually guess within $10 how much the total will be. Which is handy for our budget (and maybe a chance to win the showcase showdown.)
We shop the same way we make the list, section by section, totaling up our purchases as we go. That way there aren’t any surprises when we check out.
It takes a little bit of time. It usually takes about 20 minutes to do this planning. But 20 minutes on my day off means I can feed my body and my family quality fuel. Success doesn’t happen on accident. Plan for it, plan for the busy days, and ask for help when you need it. It’s the best choice you can make for your family.