menu planning

How to Menu Plan & Grocery Shop

How to Menu Plan and Grocery Shop

In this post I will share with you the step by step process I go through each week as I plan out my menu and make out my grocery list. I like to menu plan on Saturday or Sunday, then grocery shop later on that day. I find the process really fun and creative. I like to try to come up with lots of new, exciting and healthy meals we can all enjoy! I usually go through this process on a Saturday or a Sunday. I like to start Monday fresh with all of the ingredients that I need to create recipes for the blog and for our dinners and other meals. This is one of my favorite things to do. I sit down with a nice cup of tea, take out a notebook, my recipes books or binders and come up with tweaks to recipes that I think might work. Then, I get to work on creating my list. This is a fun and creative process. I hope that you enjoy it too. Feel free to comment on how you make up your meal plans/grocery lists as well. Do you use paper? Do you use an app? 

The first step: 

I look in the following places for food we already have: 

The freezer: proteins, veggies, fruits.

The fridge: veggies, fruits, eggs, sauces. milks.

The pantry: rice, beans, condiments, canned goods, spices, extracts. 

The second step:

I get out  recipes/ideas for  meals based on some items we already have. I make sure the recipes is using the maximum number of items we already have. I write down those meal ideas on a piece of paper and post it on the fridge. That way I already have my meal plan. I usually have 3-5 meal ideas ready to go since some dishes make enough to last 2-3 days. Also, plan for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. 

The third step: 

I write down the ingredients that I need to purchase in order to make those meals. I keep in mind items that I have not used up in the fridge, pantry and freezer when I am planning out my meals as well. This way we make maximum use of our food and don't waste as much. 

The fourth step: 

I write my grocery list. I keep in mind items that are needed for breakfasts at home, at the office, my son's lunches and snacks. I like to make only 1 trip to the store per week, so I try hard to think of everything we might need. I also ask my husband and son about things that they need or would like from the store. 

I usually put items in categories like: 



natural section

canned foods/dry goods

baking section

fresh items/deli (eggs, etc.) 


non-grocery items


I list those in sections and put squares around each section so that I can see clearly what I need to look for in each area. I love this system because I am able to plan out our meals, have all of the ingredients on hand and go through the store in an organized way. I prefer to actually write down my list because it helps me remember the items better, and I don't have to try to hold my phone with a list-app open while I am shopping. 

I hope that this process helped you. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with when it comes to meal planning, grocery shopping or recipes.