Plan For Success: Shopping and Meal Planning

When it comes to fitness goals, it seems that 99% of the struggle happens on the nutrition front. One of the biggest things that has helped me overcome my personal obstacles in this area is planning.

Below is an example of one of my shopping lists.
Side note: I know I’m very structured and organized. Food makes my world go ’round. Anything that remotely has to do with food will also fall under my Umbrella of Neurosis. Don’t mess with my shopping list or my kitchen.

In the top right corner, I jot down the entrees for the week. I plan 5-7, depending on whether or not we plan to eat out or there’s a family dinner. I also note any special sides I’ll need ingredients for (usually, I just plan on a salad and a veggie or two). If I’m planning any special desserts, lunches, or breakfasts, I jot those down to the left of the dinners. The dinners all get transferred to a little chalkboard in my kitchen so I don’t forget what I have planned for the week.


I then divide my trip into categories based on the layout of the store I’m going to. I know I’ll come to the produce section first, so I make that the first heading on my list. Leave a couple lines, and make a heading for meats, then cheeses and dairy, then breads, and so on, until I have my bases covered. This helps me make sure I don’t waste time running back and forth across the store and helps me not forget anything (whatever, I still forget stuff.).

Next step is to look over recipes for my meals and jot down what I need in it’s respective category. I also take a quick inventory of our staples and make sure we have those (milk, bread, peanut butter, eggs…).

Then I go to the store and only get what I need. Nothing else. Unless my husband comes with me, then we walk out with enough snacks to feed the neighborhood. Each night, I decide what sounds good for the next day, enter the dinner into my calorie tracking app, and fill in lunch and breakfast with whatever else sounds good/fits/gives me nourishment. This is a system I’ve been doing for years. I enjoy it and it works really well for me. It took some time to tweak and perfect, but, like everything else, it comes down to consistency. It’s a habit, I’m familiar with the process and it doesn’t take inordinate amounts of time. These are just some things I’ve done to help promote efficiency and adherence. Find what works for you, but DON’T FAIL TO PLAN!!!

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