How I Plan My Meals

How to Plan Your Meals Out and Save Money at the Grocery Store

As promised, after sharing Meal Planning 101 & How To Save On Groceries Without Coupons, I’m finally sharing how I meal plan. As many of you know, I work for eMeals.com and got taught how to meal plan (literally from the reigning expert & founder of eMeals, Jane DeLaney) about 4 years ago. I wrote the Publix for 2 meal plans when I first got hired on for the first half of the week and then the second half of the week, I would work on our blog, social media, and blogger outreach. I got too busy with the marketing part that I had to give up writing the plan, but I loved what I learned so much that I still can’t help but do it myself while integrating awesome eMeals recipes into my lineup.

As we discussed in my earlier post this week, the basics of what I do are still based around the Circle Principle. I look at an ad (although now it’s usually online) and make note of what’s on sale. I start with the meat & produce section of the ad usually first to let me know what I’m working with that’s on sale to build my meal plan around.

As I start taking notes, I talk to my husband about our plans for the week. First, I need to know how busy he is? How many nights will we both be getting home late? Will we eat out? This helps me determine how many meals I need to plan to cook, and helps me know that if we are both getting home late on Tuesday night, that’s the night I should plan for a slow cooker meal.



I then go to my Clean Eating & Healthy Heather Pinterest boards and start perusing what all is on sale that is ingredients in those recipes. Once I write down 3-4 recipes I want to make that week and the ingredients (in the order I get to them in the grocery store, of course! #TypeAProbs) on my grocery list, I move onto the snacks and cereals the hubs wants to have on hand. I literally read out the things that are BOGO that I think he may enjoy and stock up on “un-Clean Eating” foods for him that are cheap!

Once I know what we’re making for the week and have filled out my grocery list for Publix (based on what’s on sale; their sales usually rock!) I list the ingredients of the recipes I’m making that week on the side that is NOT on sale to pick up at Aldi. Most weeks I go to Aldi to get our staples, honey goat cheese, Greek yogurt, other random snacks the hubs may want, produce, sandwich bags, or anything else we’ve run out of.

I aim to spend around $50-$60 for our week’s worth of groceries. Usually, we end up closer to the $50 range which is truly my goal. The weeks I go over, are usually the weeks that something we buy a lot of like boneless, skinless chicken breasts are BOGO and I have to blow the budget to stock up to save more further down the road.

This may seem like a long process but the reality is, the more you do this, the easier it becomes! I would say that I can usually create a meal plan, make a grocery list and go to two stores in about 2 hours…but I’m saving TONS of money and headache later in the week not having to wonder what’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

I realize for many people this is TOO much work and too much time and guess what…eMeals is PERFECT for you! (Use code MEALS15 to save 15% off if you want to sign up!) Some weeks when it’s too much, I use an eMeals plan and I KNOW once I have kids I’ll probably be doing it every week. It’s just too easy to pass up on.

What are YOUR best meal planning tricks?

Check Out More Posts To Help You Meal Plan HERE:

Heather Brown helps busy mamas of young littles who are caught in the hustle to find encouragement in their journey to true health, from the inside out, starting with the heart. Read her journey of learning to live a life well-loved HERE!

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