How to Populate a Shopping List from a Meal Plan!

We have a completed menu, but that doesn’t really help us when it comes to knowing what to keep in stock now does it!? Part 2 of meal planning, in my book, means that I should have a list of exactly everything I need to buy from the store to make said dishes. I also don’t want to go every night, twice a week, or even once a week. Try twice a month!

Here’s how I did it.

Month of meal plans laid out

I went back to my month and started a new spreadsheet in Google Drive. I started with day one, Precooked Chicken and frozen veggies. Ok, easy. So on my new spreadsheet, I made two columns, one for week one, the second for week two. Looks a bit like this:

BlankBiMonthlyShoppingListThen I put down the Precooked Chicken and frozen veggies at the top of column one, and kept the color coding, just because I’m a color coding type of person. I did that for every meal I was cooking for. And finally I went through each recipe, using my Recipe Master List from the first post, and filled out each dish.

bi-monthlyshoppinglist titlespopulated      FilledoutBimonthlyShoppingList

Finally I print out that list and go through my pantry, crossing off what I already have. And viola! Ready to go shopping!

But wait! There’s more! What about the other things that I need to get from the store, you ask? Well I simply printed out this handy dandy sheet and pinned it to the wall in the kitchen. Whenever we run out of something, say paper towels, my husband or myself can write it down on this list. If it doesn’t get written down, it doesn’t get bought. Tough love style!

grocery list

The Dreaded Meal Plan

I. Hate. Meal. Planning. Hate it!

But I love cooking! I feel as though cooking is a tangible way to show my family love, so every time that I don’t to provide a great meal for them -a truly ground breaking fabulous meal- I feel as though I’ve failed in my role as mom. Now I know that’s bologna and cheese to set myself up that way, but I feel as though I can get close to perfection with a meal plan.

So the dreaded meal plan. There isn’t exactly a book on how to do this thing. No pamphlet on how to make your recipes into shopping lists, nor a novel on how to not cook the same three easy things over and over. I had a problem. I was going to the store at least four times a week, sometimes every day, and that’s just not gas efficient! I also missed out on opportunities to buy in bulk and to make meals that were not the same idea but in a different pot. (Too many Mexican dishes).

This was my solution after reading what other women have done: Monthly Meal Planning.

Month of meal plans laid out bi-monthly grocery list

Que the angels singing! I think I found a way that I can not think about meals for a month, but also have great meals every night!

Today is February 2nd and I’m about to leave for the grocery store to give it a try. I’ll let you know my progress on this! DIY coming soon!


Other related posts you may be interested in:

Monthly Meal Planning DIY