Today I will be sharing with you part two of my Meal Planning Made Easier series. If you are new, WELCOME, and feel free to read part one and snag a free copy of my Weekly Meal Planner here.
Mom Brain Meets Grocery Store:
We’ve all been there…standing in an aisle at the grocery store racking our brains trying to remember what else we need from the store. There is likely a screaming toddler wanting a snack or a preschooler knocking things off the shelf. Stress and overwhelm builds as you will every molecule of your existence to remember WHAT. THE. HECK. DID. I. NEED?!?! In a huff you get say F-it and get your circus through the check out and home. It isn’t two minutes after you come through the front door that you remember what you needed. Cue the stress sweats and steam out the ears.
Mom brain is a real thing. Moms are often overwhelmed, exhausted, and managing a million plus things at any point in the day. So it comes at no surprise that things sometimes fall through the cracks.
The Struggle Was Real
One area that I used to struggle with was efficiently and affordably completing our shopping trips (hello buying a third bottle of ketchup). I would try to come up with a meal plan on the fly and best guess at what we had at home and what we needed. More often than not I was wrong and forgot something and would have to venture back out the store another day.
After one too many frustrated shopping days, I said enough was enough, and decided to change things up a bit. I am an athletic trainer by education and as any good athletic trainer can attest to, having a well-done inventory is the only way you can make your supplies stretch. It has been years since I have been on the sidelines, but my appreciation of a good inventory list still holds true and so I decided to implement a bit of that into our home.
Using Food Inventory Lists
With these sheets, I was able to quickly see what we had on hand, what we needed to replace, and what I could use (and not have to buy) for meals the next week.
I started by spending a bit of time going through my fridge, freezer(s), and pantry, throwing out anything that wasn’t within date or had gone bad otherwise. Then I wrote out every, single thing you have in these places and the quantity of each item.
It is important to keep these sheets in an easy to access place such as a home binder. Each week when you are ready to prepare your meal plan and shopping list, reference these inventory sheets. You can build your meal plan based on what you have on hand. You can quickly see what you have or don’t have and update accordingly.
Make sure to update your inventory after your shopping trip is complete, as you are putting your food away. Before long you will find yourself having only what you need in your pantry and fridge/freezer. You may also notice the added benefit of money savings as food waste is decreased and unnecessary purchases aren’t being made.
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