I am super lazy. Which you all know if you've read this blog for any length of time. So lazy, in fact, that I used to get our groceries delivered from Safeway, even though they frequently got the wrong brand or made weird substitutions. Going to the grocery store blows, at least in my opinion. But being an adult means doing a lot of things we don't like doing, and since I do love food and eating (just not the shopping for and cooking of the food), and we don't have Safeway where we live now, I have to go grocery shopping myself.
But I've figured out a way to minimize my shopping to just one major shopping trip per month, and then a quick grab-a-few-perishable-things trip half way through the month. By planning out our meals for a month!
Yes, it's about a $300-$350 shopping trip once a month, and our cart is overflowing and the checker hates us because we hold up the line with so much stuff. But it's so nice to not have to go every week that it's worth the bit of planning and hassle of getting it all to fit in the cart.
First, I make a list of all the dinners we're going to eat for the next 4 weeks, and print it out and put it on our fridge. It's kind of fun to know what I'm going to be eating for dinner in advance--I can look forward to trying a new recipe!
Then I go through all of the recipes ingredients lists and my grocery shopping list is mostly complete, except for yogurt and sandwich and salad stuff for breakfast and lunches.
I'm also a little anal and like to sort my shopping list by what section of the store each item is in, which saves me from missing too many things and having to backtrack through the store. Anything to minimize my time grocery shopping!
This meal planning thing has been working really well for us lately, and ever since I started doing it, not once have I found myself halfway through making a meal without a vital ingredient handy. Which is not a fun situation to be in, but can be easily avoided with a little planning.
And what have I made lately? A lot of old standby recipes that I've already posted on this blog, but also a couple of new recipes, including this Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Vegetables (although I changed up the types of veggies to cater more to what my husband and I like):
I'd also been dying to try this crab cake recipe from Mrs. Cheeseburger for several months, and finally did last week. Seriously delish, especially with a side salad and a sauce made out of fat free mayo, Italian dressing, tons of garlic powder and some basil.
And on Sunday, Miss Magic was nice enough to invite us to a fun BBQ at her house, for which I had to break out some yummy (and healthy) appetizer recipes. I have a slight obsession with both mini and stuffed appetizers, so I made a tray of Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups and Mini Caprese Bites.
I've long since lost the recipe link for the Mini Caprese Bites, but here's the recipe that I fished out of an email to a friend from back in 2007:
Mini Caprese Bites
- 40 cocktail tomatoes
- 1/2 ball whole milk mozzarella
- Bernsteins Restaurant Recipe Italian Salad Dressing (make sure it's the restaurant version, much better)
- Crushed basil leaves
Do you plan out your meals in advance? Does it make your grocery shopping go a lot smoother? And who's with me on hating going to the grocery store?