I don’t know about y’all, but when it comes to household things, there’s not much worse to me than grocery shopping. While meal planning wins the award for household task I’m most likely to procrastinate on, grocery shopping is right there with it. I’ve always felt this way about cooking and grocery shopping, but until I had Caleb, it was easier to deal with. With a busy toddler, I don’t exactly have a lot of extra time to stroll the aisles at my leisure while I’m trying to decide what we’ll eat the next few days.
My first experience with online grocery shopping and pick up was last Spring. While I was home on maternity leave for three months, I learned that one of our local grocery stores offered online shopping and pick up. This proved to be extremely beneficial as I’d order online, pick the big kids up from school, and then head to the store to grab our groceries. It saved so much time and I found that I was saving money. Impulse buys (for groceries) aren’t as easy online as they are in the store. There was a $5 fee for each order, but saving an hour or so every week was definitely worth it.
This past Fall, our local Walmart Supercenter began online shopping. While I love my local grocery store, having the ability to shop via the Walmart Grocery App and pick up other household items like toothpaste and detergent without a service charge caused me to switch. I do have to plan my pick up time a little earlier since spots fill, but being able to order from the app is awesome.
After some trial and error (let’s just say the 10 or so years of my life I’ve primarily been responsible for cooking for myself), I feel like I finally have a good system down for grocery shopping and meal planning. Here are my tips to make this area smoother and give you back a piece of your sanity and week!
- Have a central place to keep your list of needed items. I have a notepad on the side of my fridge where we add items when we need them. The kids know if they need cereal, want some different snacks, or finish out some ice cream, they need to add it to the list. Before I get ready to shop, I grab the list as a good starting point.
- Make a meal plan and write it down. I have Emily Ley’s Weekly Calendar Magnet on the front of the refrigerator. I use it to write down what we’re having for dinner each night as well as any special events we have for the week.
- Keep a list of family favorite meals you know you can depend on. Sometimes, it’s hard to decide what you want to cook each night. This is where your family’s favorite meals come in handy. In our house, anything pasta is loved, so I always make sure to have the ingredients to fix a quick spaghetti dinner on hand. Most of us love breakfast food, too, so I always make sure I have pancake mix and syrup on hand.
- Start a Pinterest board for different types of meal ideas. I have a million (unorganized) boards (that’s a future project) that I can go to for new ideas. I like anything that can be done simply, but is also healthy.
- Set aside a time to meal plan for the week. Friday night is usually when I make our meal plan for the week ahead. I like to pick up my groceries after church on Sunday, so I usually order them by Saturday morning. If I’m able to quickly jot down a few meals for the week ahead along with a family favorite or two, I can easily create my grocery list. I do this in the notes section of my phone and then add the items I need to purchase below our meals for the week. I also know that we’ll eat out once or twice during the week, so I leave a few meals blank.
- Set favorite items in your grocery app. If you use Walmart Grocery’s app, you’re able to set favorites. I have items I purchase regularly like milk, eggs, cheese, bread, and yogurt on this list. The first thing I do when I go to order my groceries is visit my favorites section. Once I add these staples, I add everything else needed for my planned meals.
While it may seem like a small thing to grocery shop online, it’s taken away so much stress from my week.
What are some things you do to gain more time in your week?
What household task do you like the least? Any tips on how to improve?