So here’s the deal.
I love cooking. I love being creative in the kitchen. I would 110% win on Chopped. Give me a basket of groceries and 30 minutes and I’m going to knock your socks off. The meal that secured me a husband was a recipe I made up when I was 14 or 15 out of pantry staples….
I hate, hate, double hate, loathe entirely grocery shopping and meal planning. It just hinders my creativity, spur of the moment recipe creating.
However, as much as I dislike it, planning is necessary. Especially in this season of my life with a full time job and a toddler.
Of utmost importance to me with this blog is helping y’all (and me) shove the “motherhood has to be hectic to be done right” mentality in the garbage. So I came up with a way to meal plan and shop to get good, home cooked, dare I say healthy meals on the table relatively quick and easy.
The planning method I use is super simple!
Want. Need. Have.
What do we want to eat this week?
This is where I take suggestions from my husband (and myself) on something we’ve been craving, wanting to try, etc.
Example: I’ve been wanting to try a new acorn squash recipe, that goes into the “want” category.
What needs do I have to meet this week?
This is where I evaluate the “needs” for the week. What is our schedule like? Do we have any extra curricular going on that will hinder our usual dinner plans? Any specific nutritional needs? Do I need to plan ahead for a crock pot meal on a late work night?
Example: We plan to go see Christmas lights after work one evening, so a crock pot meal that is ready right when I get home would be ideal to save us from hitting a drive thru.
What do I already have?
Simply, what groceries do I have on hand that need to be used before they end up in the compost or the trash. This is normally where I list all of my Misfits Market (more on them later) produce, left overs, random items from a recipe test-I’m looking at you, 3/4 block of cream cheese. Often times we over shop and overspend because we don’t get creative with what we already have on hand.
Want. Need. Have.
I’m a visual organizer, so I normally take a blank sheet of paper and literally draw 3 columns and fill them up and then use the back of the sheet to plan out the meals for each day. I cross out each item in the 3 categories until I have used them all, and I can easily flip the paper over for reference.
Ahhhh. Something about crossing things off of a list just does something magical for me.
I hope this method helps you get organized on your next grocery trip, and inspires you to get creative and have less waste!
Stay tuned for a sample menu as I get my list together for the week.
Leave a comment if you would like recipe specifics!