Once upon a time, there was a girl named Nicole. And she lived in a far away land. So very far away, there was no Publix, or any grocery store for that matter. So she would get all of her meals from the friendly window people that lived in the abundance of fast food restaurants around town. Chick-n-minis for breakfast, Whopper Jr meal for lunch, fish & chips for dinner. And maybe a few Little Debbies to wash it all down at the end of the day. The key take away here: healthy.
After a few years of this routine, Nicole decided she needed to clean up her act before the Dia-bee-tus got ahold of her. So she joined the cult-like world of “clean eating”.
To say clean eating, and the Whole30 plan in particular, changed my life is an understatement. I got my energy back, got rid of the mysterious aches and pains, and lost a few pounds along the way. It was glorious! Except for one little aspect: the grocery shopping!
The first grocery shopping trip under the new plan cost me $225 and was only for the first 3 days or so. At this rate, I would be eating my Paleo meals in my makeshift kitchen in my refrigerator box I would call home. This new eating lifestyle was going to require planning and organization or I would be broke.
So, I started planning out all of my meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. After a few weeks of menu planning, that $225 grocery bill started shrinking.
I then started planning my grocery list in detail off of this weekly menu plan. In the process, I came across a meal planning / grocery shopping list template from The Project Girl that worked wonders for me.
This template has changed my life. No, really. My life truly is that boring.
I’ve used her template for months now and love it, however I am a 5-meal-a-day-eater so I made a few modifications to her file to squeeze in rows for my morning snacks and my afternoon snacks. In addition, I tossed in two extra grocery categories to list any cleaning supplies or beauty/hygiene products I need to pick up. An added bonus of sticking to a detailed shopping list: what use to be an hour long shopping process now takes me roughly 20 minutes to breeze through.
My final phase of planning, I made Friday evenings my scheduled weekly shopping night. This way I had a stocked fridge of healthy food going into the weekend – when I tend to veer towards unhealthy eating. In addition, seeing as how I have no grocery store near my home, I can run to Publix on my way home from work and what normally would be an hour round trip is only 10 minutes out of the way.
So, by planning your meals, your list, and your shopping schedule, you can turn the hassle of grocery shopping into a quick, painless weekly task.