When Andre and I were first married we both worked at Hy-Vee. Working at the same place was really convenient as far as transportation to and from work, but a little too convenient when it came to grocery shopping. We were already at the store so why not pick up some dinner. Or get an employee meal at lunch. Or pick up a six-pack after a particularly hard day.
So about six months into our marriage we decided to only do our shopping on paydays, which was every other Friday. We would still occasionally buy some Chinese during break or a snack after work – some Hy-Vees have fruit bagels and they. are. delicious. – but we really tried to limit big spending until those paydays when we would buy groceries to make dinner at home.
The thing I learned was that taking a bigger list less often saved us a ton on our grocery bill!
Even though we haven’t worked at Hy-Vee in over six years, we still shop every other week to avoid overspending from multiple Aldi and Target runs.
When I make the menu I consider a few things:
1. I try really hard to make sure most of my meals are things my kids like. I do ask them to try new things 1-2 times a month so I get their help during the planning process. That way at least the days they chose the meal should be meltdown free ("should be"- not that it always is).
2. I also try to plan meals that need fresh ingredients for the first week (something with lots of produce like these sausage foil packets from Damn Delicious) and things that use more canned items the second week (like our family favorite Cheesy Taco Pasta from Emily Bites). This works the same for snacks, too. Apples, bananas, grapes, etc. the first week and applesauce pouches and fruit cups the second.
3. I use the space under the day of the week for reminders of worship practice or gymnastics so I don't plan super complicated things for those nights.
4. Andre has leftovers for lunch so I try my best to make things that are likely to result in 1-2 days of leftovers if I know the next meal is likely to not have any leftovers.
5. I stock up on frozen fruits and veggies for smoothies, sides at lunch or things that would go well in a snack tray. Our favorites are broccoli, mixed fruit and sweet potatoes in the steamable bags!
I’ve gone through a ton of menu templates – I am way too obsessed with Microsoft Publisher and creating templates with different fonts and themes – but recently I’ve been using the one below and it has worked out really well for us! When I created this menu template I also created a shopping list document. It has all of our most frequently purchased items organized by their location in our particular stores and it makes creating a grocery list so easy!
I’ve included printables of each document below in case you want to try them out for yourself! Just click on the image :)
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!