Healthy meal plans have made a massive difference in my family’s health, and I found that 90% of the struggle of meal planning is having a good plan and a good shopping list when I go to the farmer’s market and the store.
A recipe for failure is going to the store hungry and without a plan. To simplify, I’ve started creating a rotating list of meal plans that use seasonal produce and corresponding shopping lists that are organized by the part of the store the food is in.
My Wellness Mama Meals subscribers get these each week to simplify things, but you can do this at home as well. Below, I’m sharing what a sample week of meal plans and a corresponding shopping list would look like for our family:
The Meal Plan
Monday: Tacos served on Romaine Lettuce with salsa or chopped tomatoes, onions and sour cream, cheese and hot sauce (all optional)
Tuesday: Chicken Stir Fry With Chicken, Onions, Squash, and Broccoli
Wednesday: Pork Chops with baked apples served with spinach salad
Thursday: Chili and salad
Friday: Baked Fish of choice with baked cauliflower and sweet potatoes
Saturday: Roast with Onions served with sweet potato fries, broccoli and salad
Sunday: Baked Chicken, Broccoli, and winter squash. (or leftovers if I don’t feel like cooking)
To simplify the process, I write my recipes on 3×5 index cards with the ingredients on the back. For each ingredient, I write the amount needed per person (not total!)
This allows me to easy adjust the recipe up or down if we are having company or if some of the kids won’t be home for a certain meal. In other words, the back of one of my recipe cards might have:
- 1 chicken breast
- 1/4 pound broccoli, fresh
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp basil
To make the shopping list for the week, I just multiply the per-person number by the number I’m serving for that meal and add to the list.
Note: this particular shopping list is based on the meal plan above and is designed for 2-3 people, so adjust up or down as necessary! I’ve also organized by the part of the store foods are in so I don’t go up and down each aisle multiple times.
- 3 lbs ground beef or turkey
- 8 chicken breasts or 16 thighs (or more if you will eat it)
- One 3-4 pound roast of choice
- 2 pork chops (or more if you want leftovers)
- 2 servings fish of choice (or more if you want leftovers)
- 2 medium size sweet potatoes
- 1 medium to large winter squash (acorn or butternut)
- 1 bag carrots
- 1 bag onions
- 1 red pepper (optional)
- 1 Small bag of apples
- 2 or more heads Romaine Lettuce
- 1 Large bag or box of spinach
- 2 medium or 1 large zucchini or squash
- 2-3 tomatoes (optional)
- Any other vegetables you want for salads or snacks including cucumber, more carrots, celery, peppers, etc.
- 3-4 lbs frozen broccoli
- 3-4 lbs frozen cauliflower
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 pound butter (organic is best)
- cheese (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- 3 dozen eggs (not dairy, I know, but in the same area)
- Cumin (spice aisle)
- Chili Powder (spice aisle)
- Hot sauce (optional)
If you’ve never pre-organized your shopping list before, I highly recommend you give it a shot, as it continually saves me time and money at the store.
Do you meal plan? How do you organize your shopping list?