Meal & Grocery Planning with Organized Mum

Happy Sunday, readers! I hope you are all having a wonderful day - I'm personally enjoying the beautiful fall weather (hallelujah for moving to the south where fall lasts a stunningly long time)! Though I'm also glaring at the giant knotted yarn heap that I have to get through before I can start my newest crochet project - not everything can be perfect!

In order to avoid the yarn pile a bit longer, I thought I'd share a new bit of my planning system with you. If you watched my unboxing video for my new Organized Mum inserts, you may have noticed that I pulled an additional item out of that box: the Organized Mum Menu & Shopping Magnetic Fridge List.

I'm loving this so far! It was £4.99 for 30 pages of meal planning and shopping lists. The front of the pad has a pencil clipped into a pencil holder and a small hole at the top if you wanted to hang it from a hook or a nail.

But, the back has two super strong magnets for those, like me, who keep it directly on their fridge.

Another feature I love is that the meal planner and shopping list is separated by perforation, making it really easy to tear off the shopping list to take to the store while your meal planner can stay safely at home! On a side note, I want to be clear that I paid full price for this item - I'm not getting any kick backs from Organized Mum. These opinions are all my own! 

A post on grocery shopping procedure may seem a bit silly, but since it is a necessary task so many seem to struggle with, I thought I'd share a bit on how I plan our weekly meals and grocery shopping trips and how this meal planner/shopping list has made it a whole lot easier.

I start with three things: the meal planner/shopping list, our grocery store's weekly flier, and sticky notes. Well, I start with four things if you count browsing my cookbook shelf for new recipes...

Before making a meal plan, I complete three tasks. I check my cookbook shelf for any new or favorite recipes I may want to make that week.

I also browse the sales flier for any items that may be on a good enough sale to affect our meal planning. This is especially true for meat and produce items.

Finally, I use a sticky note to jot down any items we already have on hand that may affect what we eat that week. This is mainly used for meat that we may have left over from previous meals. for this particular planning session, I knew I had made chili and gumbo the week before, meaning I had a lot of leftover meat in the freezer. In order to use up what we already had on hand, I planned for andouille mac and cheese, pork nachos, and burgers this week. I added anything we needed for those meals that we didn't already have on hand, like burger buns and avocados, to the shopping list.

My one small gripe with the grocery shopping list is that the "fruit and vegetables" section is far too small for our needs. We may eat more produce than the average family, but I do wish the "tins, packets, and jars" section was a bit smaller and the produce section was a bit bigger. However, since the back of each sheet is blank, I've just started to add any additional items there.

Otherwise, I feel that the shopping list is separated into perfect categories for our needs: dairy, meat and fish, tins, packets and jars, frozen, drinks, fruit and vegetables, household and pets, bakery and cakes, and other.

Once I have the list made, I just tear it off and put it in my Filofax until we go to the store.

While we're shopping, I leave the list in the front basket section of the cart, making it easy to access so I can cross off items while making sure not too many un-planned-for items make it into the cart (those pretzels are an exception)!

This new system seems to be working very well. It has been really nice to have a combined meal planner and shopping list on the fridge at all times, especially for nights that Brian gets home before me and would otherwise have no idea what to start for dinner. Now, our entire week is planned out, and while it sometimes changes, it still provides a good base for planning. And since the shopping list is always right there as well, we can easily add items as we realize we've run out instead of trying to remember later what we need. Since neither of us are big fans of grocery shopping as it is, this is just one simple thing that makes it a slightly less painful process!

How about you? What tips and tricks make your meal planning and grocery shopping a smoother process?

Psssst: For those in the back not paying attention! This review is completely my own - I did not receive any compensation or kick backs for this review. All opinions (and boy am I opinionated, just ask my husband) are all my own!

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