Yeah…Immaeatthat

Jul 28

How i grocery shop when i don’t have a plan.

I used to really love spending some of Saturday or Sunday planning out meals for the upcoming week.  But at some point, I lost interest in perusing pinterest for delish dinner ideas.  There are still plenty of times I love being on Pinterest, but I typically don’t carve out a chunk of time on the weekend to plan meals anymore.

So that means many a Sunday, when we go grocery shopping after church, I have zero recipe plans for the week.  Today I wanted to share my go-to grocery shopping plan when I don’t have a plan.  It’s in an easy 5-4-3-2-1 format.

Now.  We always have eggs, milk, and pasta in our fridge/pantry.  Always.  So I didn’t include them in this post, but we restock milk + eggs weekly.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

 

5! Snacks are big for me.  I eat snacks multiple times per day so I love switching up my snack choices each week to keep them satisfying.  This week I went with Justin’s PB cups, bars (KIND, Oatmega, Lara), chocolate covered almonds, Dove chocolate’s and greek yogurts.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

4! For protein this week I went with ground chicken, tofu, beans and steel head trout.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

For carbs I went with bread, farro, sweet potatoes and oats.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

This week for vegetables I went with green beans, prepared kale salad, tomatoes, and kale.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

For fruits I went with watermelon, apples/oranges, cherries, and bananas.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

3! I get SO tired of drinking water.  I much prefer something with a bit more flavor with dinner.  So each week I peruse the grocery store for a non-water option.  This week we got some Bai, LIVE kombucha and sparkling water.  I like to mix the sparkling water with cherry juice or lemonade.  And we do have diet cokes in our fridge as well.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

2! I like to try out new sauces when our sauce supply is running low.  This week I picked up some pesto and BBQ.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

AND my fridge always has to have cheese:) So this week I went with a sharp cheddar and asiago.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

1! I am a fan of having at least one frozen meal in the fridge for the week.  They are so easy to grab in the morning as I head out the door to meet with clients for the day.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Soooo what did I do with all this food? I’m glad you asked.

One dinner I made was –> sauteed fish + grocery store prepared kale salad + baked sweet potato fries + ketchup.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Another night (this was my fav) I made a stovetop lasagna.  I wanted lasagna, but didn’t want to wait for it to bake. 

For this I got out the most ginormous skillet we own and sautéed garlic with ground chicken until cooked.  Then I chopped up a bunch of kale and mixed it in/cooked it down.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Then I added in some of that pesto and chopped tomatoes…

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Top with lasagna noodles.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Then top with pasta sauce and cheese. 

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Then top with more lasagna noodles (to be clear, these were uncooked noodle).

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Top with more pasta sauce and cheese.  THEN pour in chicken broth until the uncooked lasagna noodles are JUST covered.  Then bring to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Uncover the lasagna and allow the lasagna to simmer until all the chicken broth evaporates. 

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Serve! This was so great and I definitely went back for seconds.  Andrew said it was the best meal I’ve made (but he’s prone to love anything “scoopable”). 

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.comhow to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Another meal was teriyaki tofu stir-fry!  First I coated tofu in a honey-olive oil-smoked paprika-sea salt-thyme-sesame seed sauce.  Then I baked them at 400ºF for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Then I sautéed green beans in sesame oil and added in the baked tofu + teriyaki sauce we had on hand.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Served with a pile of farro.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Oh.  And since we grocery shop Sunday right after breakfast out + church and right before lunch, we usually grab something prepared from the grocery store to eat once we get home.

This week we split a beef quesadilla THAT WAS MASSIVE.  It didn’t even fit in the pan.

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Paired with a kale salad + LIVE root beer kombucha (psst. I did do a sponsored post for LIVE on IG, but I bought these on my own.  I’m really enjoying them!).

how to grocery shop when you don't have a plan | immaEATthat.com

Perhaps you really enjoy grocery shopping, but if having to grocery shop ever stresses you out, I hope this will make it a bit easier experience.  Would love to hear your go-to grocery shopping tips!

19 comments on “How i grocery shop when i don’t have a plan.”

  1. This is so helpful and tangible!!

    My friends make fun of me because I love going to the grocery story ha.  It’s almost like a weird hobby, looking/buying, especially at the “fancy” stores like Central Market ?.  But now that I’m on a program with a financial planner, we found that a ridiculous amount of dollars are going to groceries. 

    This definitely helps me narrow it down, especially after a long work week void of planning time.  

  2. FANTASTIC post!!! Thank you thank you!

  3. This is awesome!!! Definitely use this weekend!!

  4. This is amazing! I love hearing how other people tackle meal planning and grocery shopping. I don’t have quite as structured of a method, but I believe we’ve found a pretty nice routine. I buy the majority of our staples (fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, canned beans, whole chicken, and some other proteins) at Aldi. Then I shop with coupons when I can at Kroger, Target, and Ingles. Lastly, I LOVE browsing TJMaxx, HomeGoods, and other stores such as this for unique items/snack foods/sauces/etc. :) I love your 5-4-3-2-1 idea; thanks for sharing! Meals look perfect too.

  5. This makes me so jealous! I’m finding it so hard to eat like this, which I used to do all the time because the boyfriend is literally one of the pickiest people I’ve ever met! His requirements are:

    1) No vegetables mixed IN things
    2) No leafy greens, kale, cabbages, onions, peppers, zucchini, EVER! And no cooked snap peas…

    (I’ve basically narrowed it down to, he’ll eat carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, raw tomatoes on the side, one particular brand of kale salad, green beans, and english peas, all on the side of everything, )

    3) No whole wheat anything… although he’ll eat it if I make it, but not without complaining.
    4) No goat or blue cheese
    5) No tofu… Ever. And 99.9% of the time the meal HAS to have meat. A bean based one maybe once every 3 months.
    6) No peanut butter, or any other nut butter… and as for whole nuts no peanuts ever.
    7) No pork… except for bacon, ham, and sausage.
    8) No meal salads… even if it has tons of stuff in it.
    9) No curry or ginger. And no stir fries ever!
    10) No coconut, coconut milk, or coconut oil

    Yeah… I think that’s about it. And the funniest (or most frustrating) part is that he INSISTS that he’s easygoing and not picky at all when it comes to food. He’s honestly convinced he’s the easiest person to cook for!

    Regardless, I get so bored and frustrated a lot of the time because my cooking now feels so limited! You can only eat so many plain pastas and alfredo sauce, paninis with meat and cheese, pizza without veggies… it all starts to taste the same! And it doesn’t satisfy me near as much as diverse cooking with lots of flavours and textures. Half the fun of cooking is trying new things, but it’s so disheartening when you know someone won’t like it, or will complain, or whatever…

    Any tips on maintaining variety (and vegetable consumption that doesn’t involve always eating it for snacks instead of granola bars!) when you’re dealing with an incredibly picky eater?!

  6. This is awesome, and it’s kind of how I shop/cook when I’m in a dorm and cooking for just me. I very rarely make formal recipes when it’s just me, so I can make a general list of things I like to have around and put them together however I like. If I’m home and cooking for my family, I like to have an answer with a name when they ask, “What’s for dinner?” so I do the whole Pinterest/cookbook deal :) Both are fun, and I can see myself using a combination of the two methods when I’m living on my own!

  7. This is truly genius, Kylie!  I usually shop with a list, because I’m not so good with coming up with meals on the fly like that, but I’m sure there will be a time in my life when I don’t have time to do all that planning and then I will for sure remember these tips!

  8. I love this post! I love grocery shopping, but I’m never good at making or sticking to my list. This little plan is far better for ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ people like me! Love it!
    Our grocery cart is always a strange mix of things. I’m a vegetarian who needs to eat gluten free and my fiance is a bacon loving omnivore so we have a diverse cart for sure! At least I get to flex my cooking muscles and invent new things all the time :)

  9. I love your blog so much and I LOVED this post! So helpful!! I also rarely have a plan when I shop. I definitely have some inspo now :)

  10. I have to try farro! I love the idea of fluffier rice.

    On the weeks that I don’t have time to grocery shop, I always try to have staples around like eggs and sweet potatoes. Although my go to is a tuna melt – I always seem to have those ingredients on hand!

  11. I used to always do the same thing..look at pinterest and plan everything, but sometimes that is just not do-able. Love this.. So helpful! Similar to what I do. P.S. Aren’t Oatmega bars the best?!

  12. This is wonderful! I have no idea why I haven’t thought of this! Thanks for the ideas!

  13. this is super helpful – thanks! it’s pretty similar to how I roll so its great to see another version for new ideas.

    I want to try kombucha but am nervous – do you have a recommendation for a good one to try first?

  14. Super helpful post! My husband and I hate to meal plan, so we usually end up just winging it at the grocery store. This always results in not knowing what to eat for dinner only three days later. Talk about frustrating. I’ll definitely have to use your 5-4-3-2-1 rule next time!

    Where’s your favorite grocery store to shop in Houston? We love Trader Joe’s but we mostly shop at Kroger (it’s closer). We live about five minutes away from Whole Foods, but the prices are insane

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