Hi friends, happy Monday!
Coach Stefanie here again for the final guide of buying groceries a month at a time. Today is about the day-to-day. Probably the most practical post thus far! Read the whole series below!
- The Why: Grocery Planning 101
- The How: Meal Planning for a Month
- The Secret to Success: Frozen Foods
- The Day-to-Day: Tactical Tools
Now that you have a meal plan and your groceries, let’s look a little bit closer into what my day-to-day looks like following my meal plan. I generally start the plan on Sunday or Monday. On the Sunday, I will do my weekly prep. This includes getting fresh stuff ready for the week and also preparing my breakfast.
No matter what breakfast I chose for the week (Monday- Friday), I always want to get it ready to go in advance. Since I tend to get a late start on Sunday anyways, I often combine making my breakfast for that day with making my breakfast for the week. Once prepared, I will then divide it into 5 portions. I have a large variety of to-go containers that I purchased from Amazon for this reason. My most frequently used container, is a rectangle 24 oz single compartment one that fits both leftovers and my egg casseroles beautifully. When I prepare yogurt, I often use a smaller, 16oz round container for that.
Once I have my breakfast divided up, I will put my portions for Monday- Wednesday in the fridge and put Thursday and Friday into the freezer just to be on the safe side. Then I will move on to fresh fruit and vegetables to snack on. I love grabbing the large containers of grapes from Costco. I have found them to last a long time in their package so even on week 4 they tend to still be good.
If I do grapes, I will wash them and remove them from the stems. That way, they are ready to go at any time I want to snack on a few. To keep them, I simply put them into a gallon size ziplock bag with a paper towel to soak up any moisture. That way, they will usually be good for over a week. I will also cut up any vegetables so they are ready to go and might even hard boil some eggs for snacks throughout the week.
I find it very important to have snacks ready to go so they are easily accessible. That way, I will go for the fruit or smaller packages instead of eating a whole bag of chips. I also utilize large bags of food by dividing them into snack friendly portions. One of the downside to shopping at stores like Costco can be that some things only come in huge family size packages. But there’s nothing a bag of snack sized ziplock bags can’t fix! And I have also found many instances where snacks such as chips come in pre-portioned bags at Costco.
Now that we have our breakfast and snacks ready to go, we are good to start our week. In the morning, I will simply grab my breakfast container, my lunch leftover container and a snack or two and head out the door to work. Sometimes, I will also get the crockpot started in the morning or grab our dinner out before leaving the house so it can defrost while I am at work.
When I get home from work, my dinner is chosen for me and all I have to do is put the finishing touches on it. Usually that just means putting it in the oven or the instant pot. Sometimes I come home to my finished crockpot meal! (I recommend having one that will switch from cooking to warming on its own). Even if I actually have to pan fry my food, I know it will be a quick process since I only need to open bags and not start finding knifes and cutting boards to get started.
And, like I mentioned before, I keep my plan flexible and include days for eating out or just snacking for dinner. So, if I am absolutely not in the mood to do anything, I can always use one of those meals!
Using this plan has helped me drastically cut down on the bad food choices I make and the money I spend. As you can tell, it includes a good mixture of planning sessions that are not too overwhelming with a level of flexibility.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Bulk shopping isn’t for everyone. I just wanted to lay out the success roadmap for anyone thinking of trying it. Remember, you can find my first post HERE, my second post HERE, and my third post HERE.