Meal Planning Survey

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Okay, today, I’m going to do something a little different.  I’m going to take my first ever survey 🙂 .

I haven’t done that, right?  I don’t think so…I think this is a first!

I get emails every day asking about how I meal plan…which tells me that we’re all in the same boat.  We’re all trying to figure out how to get dinner on the table for our families while also juggling work, school, laundry, homework, sports, laundry, speech (or other therapies), laundry, cleaning, laundry and other stuff you do as a mom.  I did a post last year where I laid out how I meal plan.  You can read it HERE.  I read back over it and basically, I still do everything just the same.  Today, I’m going to poll you guys on how you meal plan/what your week looks like because I thought it would be fun to see the results.  Are we doing it just the same or a little different?  We shall find out!

This is how I feel about grocery shopping with all my kids during the week 🙂 .

This too.

Now, one thing has changed since my post last year.  My favorite grocery store (the one that is right by my house) now has grocery pickup, so I head there instead of Walmart plus, for $9.99, they deliver groceries too.  What?  What?  Yes!  I don’t do it all the time, but sometimes (like when Ashby had surgery and I didn’t want to make her get in the car), I have them bring me my groceries.  They walk them all the way into my house and place them on the kitchen counter. #amen

Where was this when I had two babies at home?!  Oh my word!  I remember back in the day when I had a brand new baby and a 16 month old and was trying to grocery shop at the same time (there was no room for groceries because they took up all the cart room.  Ha!).  I would have looooooooved that back then.  Friends tell me that so many other stores do this too like Costco.  What?  Yes!  Plus, I have friends who get their groceries delivered from Amazon as well. After today’s survey, if you have other tips like this, PLEASE SHARE in the comment section.

Now, one thing I’m doing differently now is that since my grocery store has grocery pickup, I save my favorite/most used items in a list on their site instead of having an actual piece of paper with my favorite things written on it.  This way, when it’s time for me to shop, I can just open that list online and start adding things to my cart that I need (those typical items like milk, paper towels, cereal, strawberries, etc. that we buy every single week).  This saves me so much time when ordering my groceries to be picked up!!

One last little tip…whenever we travel, I place my grocery order before I leave for either the day we get home or the next morning.  I go in and complete my order and pick a future pick up date (like when we get back home), so that after our trip, my grocery shopping is basically done.  All I have to do is swing by and grab them.  We’ve even done this on the way home from the airport before!  Easy as that!!  (Because it’s so hard to come home from a trip, tired, with loads of laundry to do and no food to eat.)  Before grocery pickup existed, I would write out my grocery list and have it on my desk ready to go after a trip.  So, even if I had to go to the store and shop, at least I was already organized with my meal plan and list for the week.

Okay, the survey is below!  I’m so curious to see what we all do!!  Don’t forget, to check out my Meal Planning Post from last April, click HERE, and comment to share your favorite meal planning/grocery shopping tips!  Happy Tuesday! xo

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111 Comments

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 10, 2018 at 4:44 am

    I struggle even cooking for myself, can’t imagine what it must be like for the whole family! Props to you, Shay, you’re so organised! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • Reply Stephanie Krosnosky April 10, 2018 at 4:52 am

    My husband and I use an app called Our Groceries (loaded to both our devices). It will automatically update on both our phones. So, we add to our list throughout the week. The list can be categorized by areas of your grocery store (you just have to add it in) but you just cross it off your list with one touch as you shop. (It also saves the entry so you can add it back in with one tap!) I love my grocery pick up, but Our Groceries is awesome for actual grocery store stops and “Honey do” lists!

    • Reply Brenda Kirkbride April 10, 2018 at 7:42 am

      I use the same app and love it. So helpful. Also, it works with Alexa, so I can just ask her to add things to my list when I notice I run out while cooking 🙂

    • Reply Sarah B April 10, 2018 at 8:31 am

      We use it too! When my husband retired, he took over the grocery shopping. Having all the pictures of the items on the list made it stress free – he knew he was getting the right thing!

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims April 10, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Survey done! Can’t wait to see the results. Love Stephanie’s tip above!!!

  • Reply Denise April 10, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Nothing could be better then Click List at Kroger! We have a cottage on the lake which is on our own island and we have to take our food over. So Thursday night I put my order in for the weekend and pick it up Friday after work and head right up to the island! BEST thing ever because my husband is happy that we can get out of the house by 3:30 on a Friday! We’ve been empty nesters for a while now and every one asks us “why do you still cook every night it’s just the two of you” … well first because we eat clean (me Paleo) so I like to make sure we are eating healthy so meal planning is important. I have used your cookbooks and turned many meals from there into Paleo.

  • Reply Sarah April 10, 2018 at 5:42 am

    Fun survey!!! I usually meal plan every few days and shop with a list 🙂 I tried doing my shopping for an entire week, but that just doesn’t work for us (or shall I say… me!). I like to cook what I’m in the mood for so it just makes sense to shop more often. Plus, then food very rarely goes bad because I ALWAYS use it!
    -Sarah
    http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Reply Lesley McFarland April 10, 2018 at 5:42 am

    ALLLLLL THE ADULTS SAY AMEN TO GROCERY PICK UP!! This has been a total game changer in our house…along with the rumba…but that is for another day.
    I absolutely love it because I basically order the same stuff every week. And it saves me at least $50 because I’m not roaming the isles. And I do not meal plan. I just always have a few staples on hand and throw stuff together last min. When we are gone 4 out of the 5 nights a week we a lot of grilled cheese and tacos

  • Reply Dana April 10, 2018 at 5:44 am

    I’ll share what I have been doing in hopes that it can help someone else. We do go to the store frequently, but I send my bigger kids and they only get what I tell them, which saves me from impulse buys. We go to Costco once a week (it opened last year in France and is only 20 minutes from me. It has changed my grocery life!) and I buy pretty much the same things. I keep frozen meat on hand- Kirkland chicken breasts, ground beef, shrimp, breaded fish, and chicken nuggets. Then I have a category for each day- Mexican Monday, salmon Tuesday (I buy from the market), Italian Wednesday, Asian Thursday, Pizza Friday, Soup (or salad) Saturday, rotisserie chicken, salad, and potatoes from the marché on Sunday lunch, and then the breaded fish on Sunday evening. I keep veggies on hand and whatever needs to be eaten, I have simple ways to prepare each vegetable. We also do lots of salads. An example of how I prepare the veggies- I sauté baby carrots with butter, maple syrup, and a little salt or sauté spinach with a little crème fraîche (sour cream), salt and garlic. I roast veggies, too. As far as the categories, I know generally what kind of foods go in them and then just make something new each time with whatever I have on hand. Varying the meats keeps it interesting, too.

    I pretty much always have a main dish with a little meat, 1 or 2 veggies, and a baguette, rice, quinoa, etc. It has really taken the guesswork out of what’s for dinner and made life generally easier. I also have an easy solution for breakfast- toast with butter and sometimes jelly or honey, I scramble up some eggs quickly, and then a tiny cup of juice after they drink a glass of water. I switch up the flavors of the juice (they only get about 2 ounces, but they like it!) and the jelly. It would be a great use for your freezer jam! Finally, I love to cut up fruit and make different kinds of fruit salad and have that at breakfast or for snacks, lunch, etc. I find that less food gets wasted (like half-eaten apple cores!) and it is pretty and therapeutic to cut it all up.

    • Reply Chelsea April 10, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Okay can you keep teaching me please? Also can I come visit you in France?? I love everything you just said about meal planning! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply jamie April 10, 2018 at 5:45 am

    on my end, the survey isn’t working. i’m excited to take it! maybe i need to take it on my computer {i’m on my phone}…

    • Reply Sarah N April 10, 2018 at 6:24 am

      It’s not working in my phone either 🤔

    • Reply Tracey April 10, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Mine isn’t working either!

    • Reply Susann April 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Same. On my phone, too.

  • Reply Morgan April 10, 2018 at 5:49 am

    When I’m meal planning I write down the days of the week how far out I want to go and each activity we might have beside it. Then go back and fill in meals that makes sense with the night. That way I’m not planning a meal that takes a while to cook on a busy night. This helps me stick to the meal plan a lot better.

    We also shop on a budget so my grocery list includes everything from food for meals, school lunches, and snacks. If I include snack items I don’t have the urge to buy random things and it ends up saving us a lot of money.

  • Reply Erika Slaughter April 10, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Grocery pick up has changed my life {and I’m not even being dramatic}!!!

  • Reply Narci Dreffs April 10, 2018 at 5:57 am

    What great tips, friend! Off to take that survey now!!

  • Reply Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams April 10, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Using the pickup service after a trip home is brilliant! My boyfriend and I got home later on Saturday night from a flight and really didn’t want to go grocery shopping so we ate ice cream still in the freezer lol. I can’t wait to read more tips!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Reply kathy April 10, 2018 at 6:24 am

    I’ve never felt like I’m a good grocery shopper. I always make a list, but it seems our bill is just too high. A young mom at church shared an app with me called Every Dollar and also said she has saved hundreds of dollars doing the grocery delivery service. She is able to see exactly what she spending. I am going to try this and see because I really want to be wise when it comes to spending at the grocery store.

  • Reply Lindsey April 10, 2018 at 6:45 am

    I do go to the grocery every day… I live in Europe and my fridge is TINY- and my freezer is smaller than a shoebox… literally. But I really love the daily trip(s), minus the days I’m too busy to think (which I keep to few and far between)!

  • Reply Heather Stanton April 10, 2018 at 6:46 am

    I meal plan, order online for pickup. Love dinner together but……my HUGEST headache is dinners that work for sport practice at night, church youth groups….I need meals that I can feed in stages. Casseroles are good…but, I’m on the same boring rotation. I need new ideas on dinners for those nights!

  • Reply Kathleen Latham April 10, 2018 at 6:51 am

    The survey wouldn’t work for me so I thought I’d comment! Walmart Grocery Pickup has changed.my.life. Oh my goodness I love it!!! With a toddler it has seriously been a life changer. I still run into aldi every few weeks but that Walmart pickup is our weekly go-to! I keep an order going all week and then usually checkout on Fridays and pickup on Sundays. I am a teacher and HATE going to the store after school so I like to have everything done on the weekends. I keep a running list on my phone and/or already in the cart on the Walmart app. I also like that you can add things to your cart even after you check out!!! I meal plan on Friday or Saturday for the next week and make sure I have everything I need so I don’t have to run to the store during the week!

  • Reply Beth Miller April 10, 2018 at 6:53 am

    I do grocery shopping every Monday. I go to Aldi first since it’s so much cheaper. Then I head to Publix on my way home since Aldi doesn’t have plantains or pepperoni. I’m very picky about my produce since we eat so much of it! I don’t want someone in a hurry picking out my fruit and veggies! I also hate plastic, and the people working at the store use so much of it when bagging items! Some weeks I meal plan and some weeks I just use what I have on hand. I love the challenge of throwing something together without a recipe!

  • Reply Emily Harrison April 10, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I have friends who have started using Shipt for their groceries. I’ve done the Walmart pickup a few times before but I also have those rebate apps that you can’t use with grocery pickup. I did use the grocery pickup every week the first year of being a new Mom. Having someone load my groceries in my car was wonderful.

    • Reply Amy Brockway April 10, 2018 at 7:07 am

      Shipt (or similar) is fabulous. I know it’s great for busy families or new moms, but I highly endorse it for the elderly! My parents don’t drive and my sister and I were having to do their shopping, which was exhausting. We started using Shipt about a year ago and it’s been wonderful. They aren’t real tech savvy, so sometimes my mom wants me to use the app and put in the order for them, but that still beats going to the store!

  • Reply Stacy April 10, 2018 at 7:04 am

    The cozi app is fantastic. It’s a calendar online…free and it has a meal planner section where you simply drag and drop your recipes in that day. It also has a shopping list section. And each person in your family is a different color…plus it’s cute. Talk about game changer! I’ve been using it for years! Don’t know how I did life before😊. Especially now having three teenage boys…

    • Reply Amber April 10, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      My husband and I use Cozi too! We love it for the calendar and the grocery list! Game changer! We recommend it to all of our friends.

  • Reply Amy Brockway April 10, 2018 at 7:04 am

    I’m single, so I’m not planning for a family, but this advice might work if you have readers in my situation. I basically work 12 hr shifts 2 days on, 2 days off . So on an off day I prep and prepare for the next couple work days. I have to take meals and snacks for the whole shift. On day 1 of my off days I’ll usually troll Pinterest or look at recipes I’ve saved in email or elsewhere and decide what I’m going to make the next day. I’ll either shop that day or the next morning, and cook the meal(s) the second off day. I do a lot of casseroles or things like rice bowls that are easy to eat at my work station, and I can freeze extra to take out if I have a week where I don’t have as much time. I also like to do a lot of sheet pan or one pot cooking. I always pre portion out my snacks such as grapes or carrots into ziploc bags for the week too.

    • Reply Vicky April 10, 2018 at 7:55 am

      Thank you!!! I am also single and find that doing “meal prep” for one person is SO SO hard. Any meal suggestion/portion sizes etc. is welcome!

  • Reply Anne-Marie April 10, 2018 at 7:17 am

    I meal plan and build my grocery list on that. I actually like grocery shopping (I know, crazy huh?). I recently discovered the free 2 day ship at Costco for nonperishables. I can get most of what I need, that way my trips to Costco are for a few things and much quicker. I’m really lucky because my Costco is across the street from my grocery store. Meal planning is a lifesaver. It takes a little bit of planning, but a lot less planning then “What’s for dinner” each night!

  • Reply Tara April 10, 2018 at 7:20 am

    The best thing I’ve done is meal sharing with my neighbor! We are both busy working moms and last year, we discovered that if we made 2 meals a week to share, we spend less time in the kitchen, less time cleaning up, and more time with our families in the evenings! We text each other over the weekend to tell which nights we will cook and what is on our menu. It’s honestly the best thing we’ve done to feel less burdened by the dinnertime scramble.

    • Reply Vicky April 10, 2018 at 7:55 am

      Amazing!!! I want a neighbor like that one day 🙂

  • Reply kristi April 10, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Have you heard of Shipt? For about $50 a year they’ll deliver your groceries from several different grocery stores. You can order as much as you want and as many times a week as you need.

  • Reply Megan April 10, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I do a combo of all 3 – go into the store, pickup and delivery…just depends what we have going on and how fast I need some stuff. We go through milk like crazy! My problem with meal planning is that while my girls (3.5 & 1.5) eat what I make there is always so much leftover that I struggle to get us through several meals a week.

  • Reply Kelly April 10, 2018 at 7:31 am

    On your survey, I choose go into the grocery store because that’s what I do most often. But, I also do grocery pickup and have them delivered depending on our schedule. How blessed are we to have so many options!?!

  • Reply Kelly April 10, 2018 at 7:32 am

    And amen about where was this when I was toting 4-6 kids to the store? One time they knocked over a display at the end of the aisle. If I had small children, I would never enter a grocery store unless I was alone.

  • Reply Laura April 10, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I don’t have any kids yet so I think I have more free time/flexibility in shopping but my husband and I usually go to at least two grocery stores a week (Trader Joes always and then Sprouts or Publix) to get the cheapest items and freshest produce. We love to cook and eat at home every night so having a well stocked kitchen is essential. Also, I hateeee meal planning each week and found it works best for us to just do a month at a time. It’s changed my life to not have to think each week before I go to the store about what I want to eat that week.

  • Reply Jennie April 10, 2018 at 7:42 am

    Since Amazon Prime Now has been lowering their prices so much AND have free delivery, I’ve been buying more and more through them. Paired with Costco (right by my office) and Kroger ClickList, I am perfectly fine with never having to step into a grocery store again! LOL I do meal plan on Sundays and it is so easy to add my groceries to my cart online as I go so I don’t forget anything! The only thing that causes problems is if the store needs to substitute an item and they don’t have a substitute for it…this past weekend I was left with 5 items they couldn’t provide and it messed up my plans a bit….

  • Reply Nikki J April 10, 2018 at 7:42 am

    I agree with Beth M. above- I’m so picky about my produce that I struggle letting the Click List person pick it out, and I totally agree about the plastic bags! They use so many! I wish there was a way to use the reusable bags for pickup and return them for credit or something on your next trip.

  • Reply Amber April 10, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Shay this post is totally speaking my love language!!! Ha! I did a small group/bible study centered around meal planning/meal prep -we’ve had so much fun! I typically do my meal planning on Sundays…I then shop what I’ve already got on hand and build my meals around that. I always try to have my “staples” on hand so its easier to plan around. Also, if I have a free Sunday afternoon I spend it making freezer meals for a busy day or to take to someone in need. It’s a great time saver! Loved this post and hearing others ideas!

  • Reply Kaci April 10, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I use Shipt grocery delivery. They deliver all over the DFW area, from Kroger, Target, and Central Market. It’s amazing and such a life saver!!

  • Reply Alise @ Read.Write.Repeat. April 10, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Plan to Eat (https://www.plantoeat.com/ref/9862f15ea5) saves my life every week. It’s meal planning, recipe storage, and a grocery list all in one. It’s saved me TONS of money because I always know my shopping list is exactly right. I cannot recommend it highly enough. You could definitely use it in conjunction with a grocery delivery service (I shop for Shipt in my free time and love it). It’s just all about keeping yourself organized.

  • Reply Natalie Clark April 10, 2018 at 8:03 am

    If I’m really on my game and able to sit down for a while and plan on a Sunday, I do ClickList, but otherwise, I still go in and shop. I actually like still going to the grocery store most weeks! I sit down and look at my calendar on Sundays to see what we have going on, then I meal plan from there. I look at your meal planning posts, Pinterest and sometimes cookbooks to get ideas for the week. I try to plan for every night we will be home during the week and then one weekend night if we want to just stay in.

  • Reply Alice April 10, 2018 at 8:05 am

    It wasn’t an option on the survey question, but I do both, grocery pickup and go in and shop!

  • Reply Kelly Henderson April 10, 2018 at 8:07 am

    I meal plan for the week but not necessarily exact meals for Monday, Tuesday, etc. I plan out how many meals we are eating at home that week and make my list. We go to the grocery store on Sunday and buy everything we need for the week except all the meat, we only buy a couple of days of meat. My husband passes the grocery store everyday on the way home from work so mid-week, he stops in and buys the next few days of meat. We have found if we have a meal plan, we will eat at home but if we try to “wing it” then we end up “picking up something.” Our schedule is insane this week so we didn’t meal plan this week other than sandwiches and frozen quick meals.

  • Reply Alicia April 10, 2018 at 8:09 am

    One of my favorite things about Alexa is her list…you can say,”Alexa add milk to my grocery list or Alexa add paper towels to my Costco list” and she will repeat it back to you and add it to your list that is on your Alexa app on your phone. Genius!! That way your list is always with you and I have even trained my kids to add things to the list when they use the last of something or they need items. So handy!!

  • Reply Erin Chavez April 10, 2018 at 8:20 am

    I meal plan a month ahead of time and make a grocery list a month in advance, broken down into what I will need each week. Then when the sale ad comes out, I add items to it that are on sale that I can stock up on and I add whatever fruits and veggies are on sale for sides that week. I also buy my meat in bulk at Costco, so I really don’t buy it at the grocery unless there is a great sale. I have done this for a few years, but recently, my sister and I started making freezer meals for our Instant Pot. We started out with 5 meals one month and now are up to 12. This has really helped, as I can just dump my already prepped food in my IP and play with my kids or do something else around the house. I love grocery shopping, so grocery delivery isn’t a big deal to me.

    • Reply Erin Chavez April 10, 2018 at 8:41 am

      Oh and I try to make a big batch of roasted veggies on Sunday for the lunches and dinner.

  • Reply courtney April 10, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Hi Shay!
    I can’t wait to hear the results of this post. I love to do grocery pick-up. My only compliant is that sometimes my produce isn’t how I would like it. Our grocery store even has a place where you can write notes to the shopper for each item, so I always try to add in extra details about what we want (i.e. green bananas, NO mushy strawberries), but sometimes it’s still a little off.

    Thanks for the tips!
    Courtney
    http://www.greywoodmama.com

  • Reply LeeAnn April 10, 2018 at 8:22 am

    So excited to see the results of the survey! FYI the survey didn’t work for me. 🙁 not sure why.

  • Reply Sara Robinson April 10, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Amazon Fresh has been a life saver with my work and kid schedule. AND…if you have Alexa (love her!) I just tell her when I run out of things to add it to my grocery list so I don’t forget it. For example, if I run out of pepper while I’m cooking – I just say “Alexa, please add pepper to my grocery list” and she confirms to tell me it’s there. She’s like my own personal assistant. 🙂

  • Reply Tricia R. April 10, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Meal planning and grocery shopping are two of my least favorite things in the world and yet they save this full-time working mama! I would go insane if I didn’t plan this part of my week. Thank you for all the tips you’ve offered in this area. I love learning from other women and especially other mamas who are balancing so much like me! Also, I love your cookbooks! Nearly every week I have at least one Mix and Match Mama recipe planned. 🙂

  • Reply MelanieL April 10, 2018 at 8:28 am

    I love a conversation about meal planning so I’m so excited to read the comments! We are out of the house all day either at work or school so I typically plan for 3 dinners, lunch and quick breakfast options for me and the kids. I plan throughout the week, shop on Saturday mornings and sometimes prep on Sundays if need be. We usually eat out some on the weekends and maybe 1 night a week. Sometimes the plan fails but on those nights we have grilled cheese or breakfast for dinner. 🙂

  • Reply Tish Ferry April 10, 2018 at 8:29 am

    I said “shop in store” on the survey because I probably do that more often however I also use grocery pick up for our regular weekly items. There are just a few things I still like to pick out myself. Plus, we tend to need refills of milk and bread every few days with 6 of us. I’m excited to see the survey results! I would also be curious to know how much you budget for a family of 6! Shay, I know you have said you spend money on groceries for your cookbooks/recipes you are preparing however I would love some feedback on what is a reasonable budget. I am always trying to tighten up our grocery budget! I also think it would be fun to see what everyone’s “weekly items” they always purchase are and compare. I’m always looking for new ideas for snacks/staples to keep! Simply Tish

  • Reply Shawnee April 10, 2018 at 8:29 am

    No grocery pick up or delivery out here in the country where I live. I think Walmart 30 min away is going to start offering pick up soon though. I will say though that the Sam’s app has been a game changer for me…..I do concession for our school’s football, track, softball, baseball games and I can add everything to my cart on the app, pay and schedule pickup and I’m in and out in 5min. Before I had to take people with me to push 3 or more carts around to load everything up and it just took too much time. If I wasn’t an hour from the closest Sams I would use it for personal shopping too just to get in and out quickly.

  • Reply Keisha Dawson April 10, 2018 at 8:29 am

    You have saved my life with the tip to schedule groceries for pick up the day you come home from vacation. I have been so stressed about how I am going to handle this when I return from a 9 day trip in a few weeks, and this is exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  • Reply Kim M. April 10, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I love this survey! Just looking at the questions makes me realize that I could be doing things so much more efficiently!! We do have grocery pick-up a our local Wal-Mart and people have been RAVING about it so I think it is time to give it a try!

  • Reply Kaci April 10, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I always go with a very little list, but rarely any idea for actual meals for the week. I need all the tips!

  • Reply Alexis deZayas April 10, 2018 at 8:35 am

    What a great tip about ordering groceries before a trip! Grocery pick up is the best!!

  • Reply Emily April 10, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Survey not working for me….must not be compatible with Apple devices. I basically don’t meal plan but need to. It’s hard as I’m on a limited diet right now while breastfeeding so food is really boring to me. Can’t wait to be able to eat all the dairy again and make casseroles, etc. I never realized how much dairy was in all my recipes until I ha dot cut it. 😩 Would love to take advantage of our grocery pickup, but again that requires advance planning and I’ve always been a go to the store each day when I decide what we want to eat person. Doesn’t quite work well with a 4 mo old so changing my ways.

  • Reply Sara F April 10, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I usually cook about 5 nights a week, and I make my menu, and then plan my grocery list accordingly. I have a little dry erase board on our fridge where I keep our menu.
    I like to pick out my meat and produce, so I usually do shop at the store but if things get hectic, I’ll use walmart pick up. I used our local grocery delivery service on maternity leave and it was great.

    Speaking of life changing, have you heard of Noshsquad? Its an app that allows you to get food delivery from a huge variety of restaurants! The app is free to download, but there is a deliver fee. Think Olive Garden or even Starbucks delivery… AMAZING!! You should see if it’s offered in your area! We have it here in Southern Indiana.

  • Reply Nancy Belfeld April 10, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I TRY to meal plan, but it seems like nothing ever works out for me for the week. With five adults in my house plus a 3 year old, everyone having different schedules, and a couple very picky eaters, it’s difficult making any meals! I would love to have suggestions for quick simple meals that are healthy and low calorie as well.

  • Reply Lisa April 10, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Our grocery store (Publix) offers online ordering for the deli through their app and website. I always make sure I place my deli order online and schedule it for the time I will be there to pick it up. This saves me a ton of time bc its a pain waiting in line at the deli with 3 kids in tow!!! I am a go in to the store and shop person!! Even though our local Publix, Whole Foods and Amazon all offering grocery delivery, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t trust them to pick out the reddest strawberries or latest expiration date on the milk 😉

  • Reply Nicole in WI April 10, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I use Shipt. I love it. I wish it was around when my twins were babies and I had an 18 month old! I like that it’s nationwide too – so if you travel you can use it somewhere else. For example, we went down to Disney and I started my cart a month in advance and had groceries delivered an hour after we made it to our rental. It was so worth it to not have to shop for 8 people in an unfamiliar grocery store. Depending on where you live, Shipt does multiple stores too! Up by me in WI there is only Meijer delivered. But in FL – the ABC store, a local grocery store and Target all had delivery. From one yearly fee! I can’t decide if it would be a good thing to have my Target deliver!

  • Reply Lori April 10, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Grocery pickup has literally changed my life with an almost 2 year old. I hate grocery shopping and it has made every week a little easier. Also, I feel like you don’t buy extra things you don’t need and stick to your list/meal planning.

  • Reply Angela Ellingson April 10, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Love this!! We use the Wunderlist app and have a list created for each of the stores we shop at. So whenever we run out of an item or are meal planning, my hubby and I can add to the appropriate list. The lists are shared between our phones. This has been super helpful for us. That being said, I’m sure we can streamline the dreaded meal planning process. Love that you are forward thinking to having groceries ready to be picked up after trips. Genius!

  • Reply Jill April 10, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Survey didn’t work for me either! But I’m loving all these great ideas😊

  • Reply Casey April 10, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I use a variety of ways to grocery shop. I love Trader Joe’s, obviously. In Texas HEB is king; I’ve used their curbside pickup before & loved it. However, I do not recommend any delivery service for meat – I didn’t enjoy someone else picking out my meat. I do 1 or 2 big trips to the grocery store a month & try to use local farmer’s markets weekly for produce, herbs, & plants. I also really like Thrive Market for vegan & vegetarian options, Trader Joe’s is great for this too. Amazon is okay, but I feel like my experience was shopping at a Walmart-type grocery store…kinda felt like it was all junk food. Perhaps I did it wrong?

  • Reply Ali Martinich April 10, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I use Shipt for grocery delivery! SAVED. MY. LIFE. Grocery shopping/meal planning is my least favorite job as a wife/mother, but this has saved me! $99 for one year and every order over $35 is free delivery and they bring it in and set it on my counter!

  • Reply Nicole Buschlen April 10, 2018 at 9:03 am

    I’m from Michigan and I use shipt with Meijer. It is AMAZING! Total life changer. I make my list on Sat-Sun and get groceries delivered on Sunday afternoon. I still have to run in once or twice a week for 1-2 things that I forgot or to get something special. I paid 50 for the year. I do see a little bit of a upcharge on some items but I figure I am saving so much not picking up things here and there that I “think” I have to have. I also tip the shopper. I just need to meal plan better so we avoid those last minute eating out nights.

  • Reply Chelsey April 10, 2018 at 9:19 am

    I use grocery pick up for my office so I don’t waste time shopping but for home I enjoy going to the grocery store and checking off my list. But I also don’t have kids so I’m sure that will change once we start a family! I took your tip and keep a list of our repeat items on my phone in a note. We don’t need a lot of bulk items but I take advantage of Sam’s for certain staple items in our house like toilet paper, paper towels, meat, bacon, block cheese, eggs, spinach/lettuce, and certain fruits. My fiance jokes that we won’t have to buy paper towels and TP for a whole year ha!

  • Reply Pam April 10, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Meal planning is basically my favorite topic to discuss! I break it all down to simple steps and do one each day. Tuesday I make the menu for the next week, Wednesday I make the list, Thursday I order the groceries, Friday I pick them up. Breaking it up into small tasks makes each feel more manageable so it actually gets done! I love hearing how other people do this too, I’m always looking for ways to streamline it! I tell everyone I know to stop actually shopping and do grocery pickup, it’s life changing! I can’t imagine walking around the store for an hour looking for things ever again!

  • Reply GAIL April 10, 2018 at 9:45 am

    If only Trader Joe’s delivered or had in store pick-up; I’d be the happiest girl on the planet!!

  • Reply Ashley Baxter April 10, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Love the survey!
    I loathe grocery shopping. It’s the worst. I changed the day and time I shopped and it helped immensely. I grocery shop on Monday night after work and dinner – around 7pm. It’s fantastic b/c it’s so empty at the store. I treat myself with Starbucks after. Ha! I also take advantage of Shipt and Amazon Prime Now for those weeks when I just cannot.
    I meal plan for the week on Monday when I have down time at work. It’s a good mental health break. :o) I do enjoy meal planning. I use a little meal planning agenda that has space on one side to meal plan and on the opposite page is space to make the grocery list. I also carry my coupons in the book. Game changer.

  • Reply Susann April 10, 2018 at 9:57 am

    I use a pick up service, going into the store and a delivery service. I go through Instacart for my delivery service. Several stores, including Costco and Whole Foods, use them in my area in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve always had great results from the delivery service and also wish it had been around when my boys were little! I try to meal plan on Sundays and place my order that night before bed so I can either have it delivered or just go and pick it up through click list. I usually cook 3-4 nights a week and then one night is leftovers night and then we eat out. Lots of sports/games going on during dinner time so I might use my IP, crock pot or make dinner early and then kids can reheat it when they get home from whatever activity they were at.

  • Reply Jette April 10, 2018 at 10:11 am

    I tend to menu plan and shop on Weds when the new sales ads go into effect. That way I’m not having to ask for rainchecks😉

    I shop in store so that I can pick out my own veggies and meat – and get the best dates on bread and milk as well.

    We moved to FL recently and I miss Kroger & HEB desperately – but it’s fun to live near the beach!

  • Reply Nichole April 10, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Grocery pickup/delivery makes me cringe. I know I’m WAY in the minority here, but I can’t stand someone else picking out my groceries for me. A box of Cheerios? Whatever. My produce and meat? No way. Plus, my friends who use (and all love) Click List at Kroger always tell me how they had something substituted because they were out of an item. I can count on one hand the number of times I go to buy something in a year and they’re out of it, so that seems super suspicious to me. I’ll keep doing my own shopping at Publix. I’m ok with being weird. 🙂

    • Reply Beth Miller April 11, 2018 at 7:16 am

      Me too! I’m VERY picky about my produce! Plus, listening to a book or podcast while I shop makes is fun!

  • Reply Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom April 10, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I did your survey, but on the one option I wish there was a place to put that I shop in store AND do grocery pick up, because that’s what I do! I rotate it every other week, so that I can go in the store and shop occasionally and pick up little extras, etc. and then give myself a break and just pick it up the following week! 🙂 It really works out for me! Now, when the kids are home 24/7 this summer, I may be picking up more! LOL!!!!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

  • Reply Michelle W April 10, 2018 at 10:26 am

    My current obsession is the Copy Me That website. It’s compiles all my saved recipes from various blogs in one place and I can drag and drop recipes to fill the days of the upcoming week. It saves me so much time!

  • Reply Karen April 10, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Fun survey!! Now, I had to choose “actually going in the store” and “no” to going to costco/sams because I live in a very small town! If we had grocery pickup or delivery I would DEFINITELY do it! We also don’t have a costco/sams. #firstworldproblems ha!

  • Reply Linda B. April 10, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I make lot of little notes in my recipe books so we don’t waste. For example, the recipe for jambalaya only calls for 3 stalks of celery so I made a note, “make chicken noodle soup.” The lentil soup recipe calls for 1/2 can of black beans, but I have a note “make chicken and black beans quesadillas.” Cuts down on cost for items we only need some of.

  • Reply Chelsea April 10, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Okay I’m loving this post and all the comments!! Unfortunately, I live in a medium-sized town in East Texas and there is no grocery delivery yet! The saddest! There is grocery pick up at walmart & that’s super nice, but I’m just waiting for all this cool stuff y’all have mentioned to make it out here…

  • Reply Sara April 10, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Central Market’s grocery pickup has been a game changer for our family!! We do this weekly. I also shop Trader Joe’s about every other week or once a month to pickup certain items. And then my Target run for household and cleaning stuff!

  • Reply Peggy K. April 10, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I live in a small town that does not have pick up or delivery service. They say it’s coming, but when?! I’m ready!

  • Reply gina April 10, 2018 at 11:52 am

    We have teenage boys who eat a lot!!! I know what they like and plan my meals while in the meat section of the grocery store. I purchase what is on sale and add the sides. I do come with a shopping list of other items I need to purchase. It seems silly to spend $30 on a chuck roast at full price when I can get one for $12 when on sale. Or chicken breast are $15 full price and on sale for $6. I can’t meal plan that far in advance when I do not know what’s on sale. When I was in my 30’s I would meal plan with regards to what sounded good. Now in my 40’s and the kids are headed for college soon I realize there is not need to overspend if not needed.

  • Reply Lisa April 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Way back in the day when my kids were young and we were running between school and activities, we had groceries delivered. This was probably 10 years ago! It was such a God-send. Delivery fees were only $4.95, and they offered prepaid six week specials so it was more like $3.00 per week. Now that we are empty nesters, we actually enjoy going to the grocery store together! It’s like our weekly date. We plan dinners for the week (I cook every day except Friday), then we go to the store early on Sunday morning, then come home and put everything away together, then prep our snacks for the week. It’s a fun little system. And we also only have 4 loads of laundry that we also do on Sunday! Hang in there mamas with littles, it’s just a phase :).

  • Reply Sandy Blitch April 10, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I do use the the Amazon/Sprouts/Whole Foods delivery service, at least this is the way it works in Austin. So far, so good! I was concerned about not picking out my own produce, but they have satisfied me so far. I have to go to Amazon to start shopping, not everyone has access to this yet, I think it is a trial in a few cities. It is free if you spend over $35, and they add a $5.00 tip for the delivery person. It saves much time and hassle for me!

  • Reply Chelsie April 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Would you consider adding a shopping list to your Meal Planning Monday posts? Your meal planning cookbook has them and they are great.

  • Reply Leticia April 10, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I have found that I can meal plan 3 or 4 meals (with leftovers for lunches) but any more than that I end up wasting ingredients because schedules change, or we ending up going out, or I just don’t feel like cooking what I planned for! I try to do major grocery shopping on Saturdays, and prep meat for meals. On Sundays I like to batch cook staple items to store for the week, like pancakes, rice, baked potatoes, lettuce for salad. It really helps on those days where we are all headed different directions!
    I am currently using Real Plans to help plan meals as it eliminates items we are allergic to from all recipes (we have egg allergies) and has a schedule for what to do each day to get the meals done.
    When my children were small I definitely used grocery delivery services! After reading the comments I may try the pick up services 🙂

  • Reply Leslie April 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    The survey isn’t showing up. These are some great tips! BUT my main question is what do you do about meat? I don’t trust anyone to pick that out, guess I’m super picky. I also have some produce I don’t trust someone else – salad, berries, melons, etc that can be yellow, bruised, moldy, not fresh… again, maybe I’m just super picky?
    I tend to meal plan around weekly sales when I can. Saves money and makes me get out of a rut when thinking of things to make : ). Also, I stock up on BOGOs for things like laundry soap, toiletries, canned soups/broths, paper products. Again, just trying to take advantage of the easy savings. For produce, I like to shop at the local farmers market or stands, cheaper, fresher and tastes better! Freeze what I can to cook with, make smoothies, etc to take advantage of the fresh produce.

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama April 10, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      With my shopping, you can add notes to each item. I add very specific notes about my meat (like exactly what I want, how much and that I want it from behind the butcher counter). My store has done a great job!

  • Reply SS April 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I was stumped on meal planning question. It’s a sometimes answer for me. LOL!!! Sometimes I’m really good at it other’s it is what’s in the freezer and we can pull out for the week. Best idea was getting older kiddos to help make meals. They learn to plan and make dinner. They would do main, sides & dessert!!! LOL!!!!

  • Reply Shannon April 10, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    I plan a month at a time. I sit down a few days before the month starts with a calendar and fill in all the events and activities that will affect meal planning. Then I go through cookbooks, list of fave meals, and previous months’ of meal planning. I plug in a meal for each of the open dates. This way my month is balanced with Mexican, Italian, salads, grilling, sandwich or pizza night, or whatever. I don’t hold to the dates that I schedule the meal, it’s just my idea board. So then I can create a grand list for the entire month and I buy all the non-perishable items and anything I can freeze (meat, milk, butter, etc.) from Costco, TJ’s, and Wal-Mart (grocery pickup) on the first of the month. Then my pantry is completely stocked for the entire month and my weekly shopping trips are just for the fresh produce and other perishables. Each week when I go to meal plan for the week, I pull out my monthly planning sheet and pick and choose what I want to make that week. I have everything I need, I just have to make a quick run to Sprouts for my fresh produce and other fresh goods. As a working mama, this has saved me LOADS of time on the weekend and now I love my little trip to Sprouts on Saturday mornings!

  • Reply Celina April 10, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    For weekly groceries – we do Sunday pick up through AmazonFresh (not all cities have this though – yet!). They also do delivery but it’s a little more expensive.
    For Costco (~1xmonth) – Instacart for delivery!
    Meal Planning – yes, I take a look at the week & plan meals for crockpot (sports nights) and night we’re home. Similar to others above, I generally buy the same staples weekly (dairy, grains, etc) and then add in a few interchangeable items (ex. pork chop vs. tenderloin, ground meat for chili or pasta sauce).

  • Reply Carrie Burke April 10, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Amazon stopped grocery delivery here and it was a long two months before Harris Teeter opened with pick up. I had to actually shop. I actually just did the post vacation pickup for the first time last week and it was so nice!

  • Reply Kim April 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Plan to Eat + Grocery Pick-up = Best two things to every happen to a busy mom. Even better – buy (or renew) “Plan to Eat” on Black Friday for 50% off. You just slide your meal selections onto the calendar and it automatically creates your grocery list. From there, I pull up my grocery pick-up website and shop. I’m done for the entire week in less than 30 minutes.

  • Reply Erin Port April 10, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I am anxious to see the results. I do wal-mart pick-up on Mondays now. I find it’s less busy during week days than on the weekends. I use to do Hy-Vee (our local store) delivery when I had horrible morning sickness and was homebound with my last baby. It seriously saved me! It’s the littlest conveniences that make the biggest difference!

  • Reply Natashajk April 10, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    When my now 9 year old was a baby, we had a grocery store that gave major discounts on the first Tuesday of the month. Thus, I learned to menu plan a month at a time and have stuck with it for over eight years. I waited so long to have a family, that after years of shopping for one, I love being able to shop for four.

    I try to grocery shop once a week, in store, and go right when it opens at 7am. I am usually in and out in twenty minutes and home before the rest of my family wakes up.

  • Reply Savannah April 10, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    So many great comments! Still reading though all of them, but wanted to comment first!
    I don’t have any kids yet, so my husband and I go every 2 weeks or so and just make sure to stock up on everything we need. Occasionally we will go once a week if we run out of an item, but usually we are pretty good about hitting the every 2 week mark. The only reason that we go every 2 weeks, is that we usually cook at home about 2-3 times a week (I wish we did more!), but it seems like we are constantly meeting friends out for dinner, going to a friends house for dinner, or having dinner with family (both of our families live in the same city we are).
    We use the Every Dollar App by Dave Ramsey and it really helps us budget for how much we are spending at the grocery store, along with everything else in life (vacations, bills, restaurants, entertainment, etc.).
    I’m horrible at meal prepping, but fairly good at meal planning. I usually write a list in my planner every week of dishes that I’m thinking of making along with ingredients I need that I might not have at home. So, I’m excited to read through all the comments to see how I can be better at meal planning.
    Thanks for such a great post!!

  • Reply BM April 10, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    I’m curious how you plan, and especially budget, your groceries for a family of 6! Does everyone generally like the same thing?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama April 11, 2018 at 5:35 am

      I feel like we tend to buy the same things every week. You know? We get the same lunch food/snacks/etc.

  • Reply Joanna April 10, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I use Shipt! It’s one membership payment a year. I had a coupon code so it was $50. They have personal shoppers that do your shopping at various grocery stores (even Costco!) and deliver to your house. Even bring everything inside which is awesome if you ordered heavy cases of water. They will do it within the hour if you need them to. I usually schedule the day before. Shipt has changed my life!!

  • Reply Julia April 10, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Amazon Fresh has revolutionized grocery shopping! My husband and I both have the Amazon app on our phones and can add items to our grocery cart whenever we think of it! We also have the Amazon dash wand so we can scan barcodes on items in our kitchen and it will add it to our cart. Then we check out once a week and have groceries delivered between 5-7 am (aka before the kids are up). We put them away and can get started on our day without it taking any time and the groceries stay cold because it hasn’t warmed up yet! We also always have an order ready for us the morning after we return from a trip. My other piece of meal planning help is that we get two dinners a week from a meal delivery kit service (currently Plated but we’ve also done Hello Fresh and Blue Apron). That’s two nights a week where I don’t have to think of what to cook and it adds some variety to our meals so we are not eating the same thing over and over.

    I would love to follow your meal plan Mondays but we have a gluten free house and also try to cook dairy free and sugar free 🙁 Would love for you to flag some gluten free recipes or make more of those!

  • Reply Jaren April 10, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I do the Kroger Clicklist pickup once a week! It is seriously life-changing. My favorite part is that my list is saved each week, so I can easily find what I buy all the time.

  • Reply Laura P April 10, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Can’t get the survey to open 😳

  • Reply DANIELLE K RIGG April 11, 2018 at 8:03 am

    We have a BJ’s and Cosco by us. I usually go to BJ’s because they offer more coupons – you can double up on them. I find with a family of five those stores are better for us for a lot of our food shopping, house essentials. For some of the survey questions, I do do both but that was not an option…go in, pick up. I do both as you do depending on what is going on. 10 instead of an hour or more shopping is so worth it…more time with the family!!!
    Thanks for all your tips. Many of your meals are our weekly meal planning. I have two of your cookbooks and they are my go to as well as your pinterest boards. THANK YOU for helping make my life a little simpler!

  • Reply S. R. Leide April 12, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Hi Shay! I answered your survey, but wanted to leave a post since my situation is a little different than most. We’re an American family of four living overseas in Germany. We live on a military base, so we have access to a Commissary for all things American (hello, peanut butter, Goldfish crackers, & Cheerios) but I also do so much shopping “off base” at German grocery stores. The meats, dairy, baked items, and produce are amazingly fresh, inexpensive, and nearly organic. (Germany has stricter food laws.) So, between the two store options, I feel like I live in a grocery store, but it’s all completely worth it. 🙂 Obviously, grocery delivery options aren’t available here as well as no runs to Cosco/Sam’s, but there is a local organic farm, and we get a basket of veggies & fruits delivered weekly and that has been amazing. I meal plan for the whole week Sunday night and build my shopping list off of that; no apps for me, I’m old school with a notepad and pen. Ha! 🙂 Good luck with your survey – can’t wait to read the results.

  • Reply Allison Snoderly April 13, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I do not “Coupon” per say, but I do load the digital coupons from Kroger to my card each week. This keeps me from forgetting a coupon I clipped or carrying around a bunch of them. Also, the more often you use it, Kroger learns your typical shopping items and starts putting real good coupons on there for stuff you actually buy. Bonus- since my hubby carries the extra Kroger card, its a way for him to use coupons if he just runs by the store and happens to pick up something we have a coupon for. He doesn’t even realize it. 🙂

  • Reply Holly April 17, 2018 at 7:05 am

    The grocery store that is 3min drive from my house just started the grocery pick up and it is Ahhhhmazzzing 🙌🏻. For $3 i order online pull in and they put my groceries in my vechical. I shop at Costco too but then I do pick up at this one. Its changed my life. We have the amazon echo in our kitchen so I say “Alexa put ketchup on my grocery list” and a list is made for me on my app on my phone. Then you can cross things off as you buy or order online. Its such a help not to have to sit down and write out a list.

  • Reply Ellen April 18, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I actually love meal planning and shopping. I prefer it to cleaning, HA!

    I start by figuring out what nights I can cook and we can all sit down together and what nights are too jam-packed with activities. The jam-packed nights get something easy, like tortellini, grilled cheese, or pizza delivery.

    I try to make two BIG dinners on Sunday, that could last for three or four meals, but honestly, this is getting harder as the kids get bigger. So, let’s say, a roast chicken with potatoes and lots of veggies, and a baked ziti. That used to equal four dinners. Now, it’s usually two, with some lunch leftovers.

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