4 Simple Tips for Effective Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping

Our current weekly grocery haul featuring my adorable 17 month old!


Hello all! It’s been a bit since I’ve written a post – my sincerest apologies – and I’m hoping that this will be the last time there is such a lapse! Recently my schedule is shifting quite a bit so I’m just NOW getting a grip on my current schedule between the spa and coaching!

After the Ultimate Reset ( a 21 Day Detox I did in May) I’ve managed to stay almost exclusively plant based with the exception of eggs and fish here and there. This transition I felt has been a long time coming and it was really only after the reset that I felt ready mentally, spiritually, and emotionally to say “YES!” to this new nutritional journey.

Because this was a radically new way of eating that I had ever been accustomed to before, I had to be really really smart about how I planned my meals and how I shopped. What I used to do was just NOT going to work anymore, so I sat down and did a full review of my pantry and fridge and the FIRST thing I did was clean it out.

Anything I was NOT going to be eating or using from that moment forward was tossed or given away and the rest was organized so I could easily read labels or see it.

The very next thing I did was purchase two cookbooks that aligned with my new way of eating. I had those cookbooks waiting for me after the reset so that I would NOT slip or feel overwhelmed. The cookbooks created confidence and familiarity with new recipes and allowed me to feel like I still had a guideline to follow. I purchased, Oh She Glows and Real Food, Real Simple, both of which have proven delicious and worth every dime.

Armed with my new cookbooks I developed this plan I’m about to lay out. I will be teaching a FREE workshop on this so follow me on Facebook to learn more about that!

STEP 1: Pick one day out of the week to sit down and PLAN your meals for the week.

What this looks like for me is sitting down with this What to Eat Notepad and a cookbook or many and a cup of coffee.

I then sift through the entrees in each book and pick our seven (one for each day or however many days you will be cooking at home) and write their names down in the notepad under the dinner section with the respective page number and initials of book next to it so I know where to look.

Usually, we prepare enough food in the evening that we then use those leftovers for lunch and I add a side salad or soup to my lunch. So in the Lunch section I write down things like – grape tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, spinach and avocados because that’s what I usually put in salad.

In the grab-bag section I choose three desserts from these cookbooks and write them down. I make sure they’re mostly vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. This allows me to enjoy sweets without eating stuff I know does NOT feel good in my belly.

In the breakfast section I choose about 4 (I allow for repeats) and write those in with page numbers as well.

STEP 2: Create a grocery list based on EACH recipe.

So now you want to make sure you have everything you need for the recipes that week, SO, I go through each one and write down what the ingredients are. If I already have them (spices, herbs, non dairy milk, etc) I don’t write it down. HOWEVER, if any one recipe takes more than one red bell pepper, for example, I write down “RED BELL PEPPER (2) – or however many you need.

A smart way to make sure you have enough of everything is write down an ingredient like: Red Bell Pepper and then leave a ______ right after it. As you keep reading recipes, whenever it tells you to use one red bell pepper place a tally in that open space and continue to tally up as you read through the recipes. This will ensure you always have the exact amount you need. Please take into account if you are DOUBLING the recipes!

STEP 3: Color code your list.

This might sound weird especially if you use your phone for lists. If you do, forget this. However, if you use paper, go through and highlight in GREEN everything that is produce, BLUE everything that is non-food/household, ORANGE everything that is fruit, PINK everything that is non-produce etc. You don’t have to use these exactly but it’s an idea. This saves time when you’re shopping so you KNOW which foods are where.

STEP 4: Add on any staples that you always get, no matter what.

For us that’s gluten free toast, ghee, eggs, almond milk and cashew milk. We ALWAYS buy these, so those get added on sort of last minute.

I take this list to the store and I shop only from IT. This ensures accuracy and sufficient food. I don’t waste time, don’t feel overwhelmed or confused and don’t dawdle. This system has made my life a HELL of a lot easier and I know it can for you too.

Need help with your health/fitness, food and getting organized? Write me!

May your shopping experience be exciting, fruitful, and full of nutritious and amazing food!

Shakti XO

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