Planning for One Week
Part 2: Grocery
by Josh Day
In part 1 of this meal
planning article series, we discussed the importance of having a
plan for the whole week before making your shopping list and going
to the grocery store.
that you've planned out your meals for the week, including your
leftovers, you're ready to write a grocery list.
can write a list on anything -- the back of a sales receipt, a torn
piece of scrap paper, your Blackberry. However, you don't just want
to scribble away as each food comes to mind.
going to need to learn how to write a grocery list efficiently.
an efficient grocery list also saves money.
so how do you write an efficient list?
go through every recipe you plan to make for the week. Check your
fridge and cabinets and write down what you don't have.
you're tight on money or particularly prone to organization, print
out a template of your typical grocery items. Break the template
up into sections: produce, meats, canned and packaged goods, frozen
foods, household, etc. Under each section have a list of your
usual food items with space for extras. When making a list, all
you need to do is write the quantity next to an item or write
in the food if it's not on the template.
create a new list and organize the foods in order of where they
are in the aisles of the grocery store.
begin in the produce section then make my way to the other end of
the store, going down each aisle.
you're on a budget, you'll find you save money by strictly adhering
to the list.
also want to emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables and minimize
packaged and frozen goods.
try to visit a local butcher (find out if you have a farmer's market
in your area -- you can often get eggs and meats there). Local meats
are generally much healthier and cleaner and usually cheaper because
you're not paying added shipping costs.
is true for produce as well. You won't believe what you can save
at a farmer's market, and local foods taste so much better too!
when you make a detailed list, you'll often find you've forgotten
one or two items.
of the reasons many people find it so hard to consistently make
home-cooked dinners is the repeated trips to the grocery store.
you have forgotten something, shuffle your meal plans around and
make the meals that you have everything for first.
something else was missed, you'll be able to add it to the new list
and only have to make one more trip to the grocery store instead
is my example meal guide again:
here is the recipe for my red beans and rice:
Beans and Rice
1 smoked ham hock
3 cans light red kidney beans
3-4 12 oz cans chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
3 bay leaves
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 whole yellow onion, medium
1/2 green bale pepper
2 stalks of celery
2 tsp cayenne
2 Tbs dried thyme
Black pepper to taste
Cooked rice of your choice.
3 Tbs of olive oil in pot or deep cast iron pan (makes for much
better flavor). Put the heat on medium low and slightly brown ham
hock (the ham hock is crucial for this recipe -- it provides flavor).
chop onion, celery, and green pepper. This is known as "the
trinity" of Cajun cooking. Put all three in the pot and cook
with parsley, bay leaves, thyme, cayenne, and black pepper. Add
some additional crushed red pepper flakes if you want the red beans
garlic, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown.
in chicken stock.
red beans and rinse thoroughly in a colander before adding to pot.
water as needed to cover beans.
for 3-6 hours, stirring occasionally, and adding more water as broth
serving, use a potato masher to make the beans creamy.
favorite rice and serve with beans (underneath or above or on the
side). Garnish with green onion shoots and serve with croutons.
beans and rice taste even better after you've eaten a huge salad.
out our next meal planning article on making
the perfect salad.
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