Grocery shopping and meal prep doesn’t need to be overwhelming. The key to meal prep success is preparation, and I’ve got you covered! Download my free grocery list template and make your next trip to the grocery store completely stress free!
I don’t know what it is about grocery shopping, but just the thought of it can bring an instant jolt of dread and anxiety, especially if you don’t have a meal plan for the week! I know a lot of you are nodding your head right now because grocery lists are one of the biggest requests I get from clients!
So this one’s for you! Packed with my best tips to get you in and out of the store quickly and stress-free (or keep you out of the store altogether! Stay tuned!)
Click below to watch the video!
I’ve also created this free fill in the blanks grocery list template with meal planning tips for you that you to download and use!
You might want to print it out now, before you continue reading so you can fill it in as you go and have your week planned out by the end of this post!
What are your best grocery shopping and meal planning hacks? I’d love to hear in the comments below as I’m sure your fellow readers would too!
8 Meal Prep Tips & Grocery Store Hacks
STEP #1: Organize your grocery list by section of the store
This will prevent you from running back and forth to the same aisles, saving you time, and if you’ve got little ones in tow, saving you a meltdown!
Action Step: Use an organized grocery list template. Use your own or download the one I made for you here!
STEP #2: Plan Around Just 6 Key Ingredients
Rather than planning each meal around completely new ingredients and ending up with a grocery list a mile long, streamline your shop and your prep by planning around the core meal prep components:
3 Vegetables 2 Proteins 1 Carbohydrate
For example, this week I’m doing
3: Cauliflower, bell peppers, purple cabbage 2: Chicken Breasts, Chickpeas 1: Brown Rice
Bear with me! I promise this won’t leave you with bland boring meals. But it WILL eliminate some major decision overwhelm and drastically cut down on your weekly meal prep!
These are just examples! Swap the options above to suit your taste or preferences, but this will give you the foundation for super nutritious and balanced meals. To get the flavor and variety you crave, fill in with different “Fast Foods” (explained in Step 4).
Action Step: Add your 3-2-1 Ingredients to your grocery list template in the appropriate columns
STEP #3: Plan your Meals
- How many meals will I be eating at home?
- How many people will I be cooking for?
- Start with your protein and build out from there to come up with meal ideas
What I’m cooking this week: Red Thai Chickpea Curry, Crunchy Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos, California Chicken Burgers with Green Salad, Buddha Bowl with Spicy Peanut Dressing, Hearty Herb Chickpea & Cauliflower Grain Bowl
Action Step: Look at your calendar and figure out how many meals to plan for. Choose the meals you will make this week.
STEP #4: Fill Your List in with Fast Foods
My dietitian version of Fast Foods are ready to go, healthy, whole foods that require little to no extra prep but can turn your 6 core meal prep ingredients into completely different meals!
Examples of some of my Fast Foods this Week: red thai curry paste, coconut milk, avocado, red onion, peanut butter, soy sauce, bin of arugula, corn tortillas, whole grain burger buns, cherry tomatoes, cumin.
Action Step: Go back to your grocery list and fill the appropriate columns in with the “Fast Foods” you need to make your meals complete!
STEP #5: Check your pantry staples for items you may already have on hand
You likely already have some of the fast foods on hand stocked in your pantry. If you missed my video on Pantry Staples, watch it here to get yours stocked up!
Action Step: Cross anything you already have off your list or add any last items you may need.
And that’s it! Pretty painless right? And I promise it just gets quicker with time.
A couple last tricks that will make for a much more enjoyable shopping experience
- Do not go in there…..hungry (anyone else an Ace Ventura Fan? Just me? Ok…)
Shopping hungry is a surefire way to stray from your list, go over budget, and end up with alll of the snacks you don’t even want.
- Shop the perimeter of the store
You’ve probably heard this one before. Every store is set up with a similar outline – the whole foods like produce, meat & dairy and their alternatives, and bakery fresh whole grains. Start here, then head into the aisles to finish up!
- Shop online!!
This has been one of my all time favorite discoveries. Whether you’ve got a particularly busy week, you’ve got toddlers in tow, or you just have other things you’d rather be doing, the average $3-10 fee could be totally worth it!
Did I miss anything? Leave me a comment below if you have any great tips to add and don’t forget to grab your Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning Template here!
Next week I’ll be sharing a video to walk you through The 321 Method Prep so you can learn how to get your weekly meal prep done in just 1 hour and be set for the week!
More helpful meal prep tips
- Pantry Organization 101
- Pantry Staples Checklist
- 10 Must Have Spices for Meal Prep
- Easy Meal Prep for Beginners