A week of eats using my 54321 grocery shopping method

How time flies! I first posted about this 54321 grocery shopping method in 2016. Four years ago! This is my method of grocery shopping when I don’t feel like planning out meals for the week, but still would like our fridge stocked with meal worthy ingredients.

Today I thought it could be helpful to walk you through an example of how I use this method: what I bought and some meals & snacks I made. Since having kids I’ve realized this 54321 method needs to be increased a bit for our family, maybe one day I’ll switch it to a 65432 method!

Here’s the plan:

Lemme walk you through what I bought! Here are the 5 snacks…popcorn, goldfish, yogurts, chocolate covered almonds and peppers. This is one place, especially because of kids, we’d need to increase our purchasing amount if we’d like to continue using this plan. We had fruit snacks (Jojo’s life blood lol) and cookies already at home, but without those we wouldn’t have had enough snacks.

Here are the 4 proteins I got for the week…eggs, tofu, chicken nuggets, and rotisserie chicken. Both children really like tofu…it must be the texture since they’ll eat it raw without any flavor added.

We got these 4 carbs…rolls, flour, cinnamon rolls, and, since I’m trying to “shelf cook” more I used rice from the pantry we already had.

The 4 fruits we got were…bananas, strawberries, blueberries and limes.

For our 4 vegetables we got…spring mix, broccoli, and then mirepoix ingredients for chicken n’ dumplings we knew we wanted to make. Usually when I use the 54321 method we have no meals planned out, but this time we had one.

For drinks we got…chocolate milk, lemonade, milk and diet cokes. I already had my coffee and vanilla creamer at the house (staples for me!) so I didn’t need to buy those.

For sauces and cheeses we got…butter (that counts as a sauce haha!), almond butter, sharp cheddar and good parmesan.

I ended up not getting a frozen meal, but should’ve!


cheesy eggs + cinnamon rolls + iced vanilla latte

egg + banana pancakes were eaten a few times. Typically topped with almond butter and chocolate chips. For the pancake, I mash & whisk together 3 eggs and 2 bananas with some cinnamon and vanilla. Then cook it just like you would a pancake. Jojo and I split this and top it with almond butter & chocolate chips. Jo is a yogurt lover, so I served hers with some yogurt.

Regular pancakes made with the flour I got + other pantry staples we had.

One morning I picked up kolaches (meat + cheese wrapped up in dough for those of you who don’t live in a state where kolaches are a thing) on the way to work.

Ella eating some oatmeal <3

Here’s what we had for dinners:

We got pizza one night. Mellow Mushroom. Great White. Add pepperoni. Light Bake. It’s THE BEST. We ate it sometimes on it’s own and sometimes served with the dreamy toasted almond salad.

Made a tofu stir fry one night and served it with rice. We had sesame oil in the pantry, so I whipped up a sauce with that.

I feel like I stunk at sticking to the rules of this experiment haha because we had some leftover food I keep using in these meals, which probably isn’t super helpful as you read through this and are like “but you didn’t buy bagels?!”

This was half an everything bagel (all we had left) topped with fried cheese paired with a salad. Plus a glass of Peju wine.

We made a big pot of chicken n’ dumplings and had it for several lunches and dinners.

For lunches…

One day we had salad topped with chicken nuggets + goldfish.

Leftover pizza.

chicken nugget salad + buttered rolls

a lunch I made for Jo…

For snacks we had…


cookies + chocolate milk

fruit & peppers.

chocolate covered almonds + strawberries

fruit snack snack with my little cutie

a few handfuls of popcorn!

So there are some of our meals and snacks! I hope this gives you some inspiration if you use the 54321 method for you or your family!


  1. Oh my goodness your older daughters hair is the cutest! What a sweet little bob. I loveeee Coke Zero, it’s my kryptonite! Do you have any thoughts on diet sofa? It’s pretty vilified (like a lot of things) so sometimes that gets in my head  – do you just sort of have an everything in moderation approach? I need to try that chicken nugget salad!

    • Hi Andrea!

      Yeah diet soda can be a complicated one because the non-diet community isn’t super pumped about it and wellness culture isn’t pumped about it. It’s hated from many angles. I have a lot of thoughts on diet soda, but will leave it with…if one is scared of drinks with calories or uses diet drinks to push away hunger (i.e. body is asking for a snack but one drinks a diet drink as an appetite suppressant) then diet soda isn’t healthy for that person.

      If a person is an intuitive eater, they can assess if diet drinks make their body feel good and choose to drink them or not drink them based on that data.

  2. I love a good chicken tender salad! Yum.

    I also recently got the Half Baked Harvest Super simple cookbook and while I haven’t tried too many recipes yet, one of the one that caught my eye was a salad with everything bagel croutons – you just pan fry (or I guess toast in the oven) and add them as a topping – so easy and adds a little extra to the salad!

    • Oh dang that’s brilliant! Gonna try that the next time we’ve got some everything bagels!

      • If you have a bread machine, you can make the bagels at home with your flour and pantry staples. Check out Real Mom Nutrition’s recipe for bagels in the bread machine – it’s been fun to do at home a few times. :) 

  3. I have never heard of this 54321 method for shopping/meals before, but it’s really clever and helpful! I have three kiddos, so would also need to UP the numbers some, but still great concept. Thanks for showing how you implemented the items during the meals throughout the week, too. 

  4. This is actually really helpful for a college student who has no idea what to cook ever
    Also I can’t even imagine living in a state where kolaches are not a thing, I forget its a very Texan thing sometimes

  5. I remember you sharing this years ago, and I still think about it sometimes when I grocery shop! But I’ve modified it for our family… 5 dinner items, 4 lunch items, 3 breakfast items, 2 drinks, 1 dessert. It works really well when I know I have the basics on hand. 

  6. Pingback: Friday Randomness - fANNEtastic food

  7. I love this follow-up to your shopping method! I will try to incorporate this some as well. I love that Tillamook thick shredded sharp cheddar! I bought it recently with a coupon, and I look forward to getting it again. I love all of your meals and how you demonstrate that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and satisfying. I often use Annie’s bunnies and other crackers as a salad crouton.That pizza sounds amazing, and the cookies look so good!

  8. Those cookies look so good! By chance do you remember what recipe you used?

  9. Fun post to read! I think it’s perfectly realistic to see that you added other foods from your home into the 54321 plan, since most people have some foods left from the previous shopping trip…just my two cents. :) 

  10. Love this post for quite a few reasons – haha. First of all, that brand of kettle corn is AMAZING. Although I think my all time favorite is Indiana Grown (or Indiana’s best? Or something. Red bag lol.) Second, you and Johanna look like twins…so cute!

    We’ve been eating really random lately too…trying to clean out our pantry, taking inventory of the shelf-stable stuff and shopping to supplement with some fresh things. I’ve been loving the creativity of not having a plan! Plus, it makes me really grateful that I have a full pantry, and seeing how God provided long ago for my hunger today.


  11. I have a question regarding the pandemi. Other parts of the world are already shutting down to avoid the virus spreading, and to decrease the amount of people getting sick at the same time/filling up the hospitals beyond their capacity we should all aim to not frequent the grocery stores. My question: What do you suggest people stock up on? I’m not suggesting we should empty the grocery stores, but in risk of being quarantined for the recommended two weeks, having enough food is a must. Tips? I have ordered pasta, rice, beans, cans of tomatoes, wraps, plant based milk for delivery. Any other suggestions? Love your blog and would really appreciate your input!

  12. I love this type of post from you. Your meals always seem so FUN and delicious!

  13. The best household products to me which comes in recycled and recyclable plastic and is animal friendly. Already I buy the baby sterilization tablet and drop one or two into an old spray bottle. Saves buying more plastic and overdoing the bleach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *