COVID19 life Planners

Day 105: Meal Plan & Shopping

June 28, 2020

It’s Sunday, and even though Josh is on call I am planning on getting out of the house for my weekly shopping excursion. It has been a few months since we shifted to weekly shopping AND since I have taken over this duty. Back when the kids attended school (!), our nanny did the weekly shopping while they were out of the house. She usually went on Mondays and sometimes again on Thursdays or Fridays.

Now it’s all me, and for the most part . . . I kind of love it. I wear a mask (actually, our grocery stores have required them for quite some time which is good) and douse my hands with (store-provided!) sanitizer on the way in and out of the store.

I ALWAYS meal plan and make a list right before. Almost every week follows the same structure:

Sunday – I cook

Monday – Leftovers from Sunday

Tuesday – G (our nanny . . . not Genevieve) cooks, usually sometime mid-morning while kids are doing ‘school’ and little G watches something

Wednesday – Leftovers from Tuesday

Thursday – G cooks again, same process as Tuesday

Friday – Leftovers from Thursday

Saturday – Takeout night

I get my meal ideas from my favorite cookbooks (Dinner Illustrated and Run Fast Eat Slow), some magazines (Milk Street & Real Simple) as well as a few blogs — especially Lagliv! I have a few cookbooks upstairs that I should probably bring into the rotation, too.

Here’s my planning in the Live Rich Planner that I’m currently playing with, complete with toddler scribble (NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!)

This Week’s Menu:

(sharing inspired by Laura’s recent post!)

Today (Sunday): Cobb Salad

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Tacos & Taco Salad (we use ground turkey as the meat + typically the Old El Paso taco kits with the spice mix & shells. Toppings: cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, green chiles, sour cream, salsa, avocado. This is a kid favorite.

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Black bean soup (most of the time, I try to incorporate at least one vegetarian meal each week. The kids are not a fan of tofu but they do like beans). I use the recipe from Dinner Illustrated which does not appear available to link to online. Served w/ sour cream + tortilla chips.

Friday: Leftovers + possibly eggs if not enough soup left

Saturday: TAKEOUT NIGHT! In the past few weeks, we’ve had: sushi, Mediterranean, Cuban, BBQ, pizza, burgers, Indian, and more. I think it might be Cameron’s turn to pick, so we will see. I guess it may depend on what is open on July 4!

YES we eat a lot of leftovers. No one minds and it saves so much time & maybe even $ (not to buy whole sets of ingredients + to reduce waste). We typically have the fridge nearly empty by shopping day which I consider a victory.

I find we still spend a lot on groceries which I am generally okay with. I think it’s because we buy a lot of things organic and some “luxury” items like nicer coffee. We used to get a lot of groceries from Whole Foods but Publix is significantly closer and seems to be $100+ cheaper per trip, so I’ve mostly switched.

What is your meal plan this week?

exploring (within our neighborhood complex)
2 turtles!


  • Reply Elaine June 28, 2020 at 6:46 am

    I love your planner layout, G calligraphy included.

    After a week where we had some variation on a toasted sandwich most nights our week (just two maybe a tiny freeloader depending on how this two week wait goes) we are having:

    Sun- Portuguese chicken wraps
    Mon- Char sui beef with Asian veg
    Tues- Salmon and salad
    Wed- Chicken strifry
    Thurs- Vegetarian pasta
    Fri- Out

    I love looking at what other people have planned and taking ideas.

    Have a great week!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 28, 2020 at 7:51 am

      2ww – fingers crossed for the freeloader! <3 <3

    • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) June 28, 2020 at 11:42 am

      Holding thumbs for your tiny freeloader!

  • Reply Lori C June 28, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply gwinne June 28, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Cost of groceries for different families in different parts of the country never ceases to amaze me. I know there’s a lot of individual variation…. I can usually get almost everything we need from WF for under $150/week (yes, mostly organic and local when possible, and often a bottle of wine); honestly, this is the major reason I keep amazon prime (credit card). Has gone up somewhat during these times but I’m not paying for school lunches…

    I am also trying to rotate in more vegetarian meals as LG is vegetarian….but Tiny Boy won’t eat beans and I’m allergic to soy (and have general bean sensitivity). so meal planning is somewhat complicated.

  • Reply Jen June 28, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Meal planning and trying new recipes are two of my favourite things even pre-covid. Our grocery bill has gone up but that is basically due to cooking ALL the meals all the time (our son’s full-time daycare is catered when it is open but hasn’t yet reopened) and then i had a habit of breakfast at the office when i would go in a few days a week. In order to cover childcare during the pandemic my parents are coming for 4 days a week so we buy more. I am getting tired of all the cooking, i admit.

    Our leftovers are often lunch on another day. They rarely go to waste.

    This week the plan is:
    Sun: ham and spinach quiche
    Mon: chicken florentine pasta
    Tues: Tofu fingers (a favourite of my daughter from
    Wed: pulled pork quesadillas (from pork shoulder my husband smoked a few weeks ago)
    Thurs: Chicken parm bake – a new recipe to try
    Fri: Fish sandwiches from Jamie Oliver (a definite favourite of mine)

  • Reply Jessica June 28, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Cobb salad sounds fantastic! And those turtles are so cute. Are you doing any wiping down of your groceries/packaging? I has just convinced myself that I could maaaaaybe back off doing that when the numbers started to explode again and now I’m asking everyone I know what they think. 🙂

  • Reply Rachel June 28, 2020 at 10:26 am

    What do you guys and the kids eat for lunch?

    Just wanted to recommend a family fave recently – the Skinnytaste chicken parm – so easy and so delicious

  • Reply Katie June 28, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Do you make enough that you have leftovers for lunch too? If not what do you usually fix for lunch? We’re doing pretty well on dinners and leftovers, similar to you, and getting takeout once a week usually, but I find I never seem to make enough to have leftovers for lunch AND another dinner. And really don’t want to double the meal planning work to plan lunches too. Usually I bring something easy to work or get a sandwich out, and my daughter eats at daycare, but we’ve both been home since mid-March and we are buying! (Husband still working so eating about the same amount at home as usual)

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) June 28, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Breakfasts are cereals or toast around here
    Lunches are a sandwich, protein and fruit
    Suppers – well, I try to do a different carb every night and what sounds good to me (I’m the one who doesn’t like eating the same thing two days in a row). I would freeze the second batch for the following week though. So we’ll have rice with something, pasta, wraps with something and potatoes with something, and then an eggs meal.

    This week:
    Baked potatoes and savoury ground beef
    Stirfried rice, veggies and chicken
    Pasta bolognaise
    Roti and curry
    French toast

    Sat and Sun we finish all the leftovers and start the week off on a “clean note” 🙂

    I wrote a post on this too if you want to have a look here

  • Reply Katy Willis June 28, 2020 at 11:55 am

    We use Emeals. Subscription service. Enter your grocery store of choice, desired plan (Keto, vegetarian, kid friendly, crockpot etc) and you get a menu each week with shopping list. Helps make a nice variety!

  • Reply Omdg June 28, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    My husband started making Indian food once a week or so, and apparently making paneer is quite easy! My daughter is even willing to try it, so win! El Paso salsa is my favorite! Sadly Dylan refuses cheese, beans, and lettuce. One day…

    • Reply DVStudent June 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      Highly recommend Chetna Makan’s youtube channel for Indian food-she lives in the UK, so her food is easy to replicate, and as an Indian-America who grew up surrounded by amazing home cooking, her food tastes like my Moms. Recipes range from ‘weeknight throw together in 20’ to ‘long and worth it weekend project’. She uses a fairly standard ratio of spices, which transformed how my food tastes (my original ‘toss stuff into pot and cook for long time’ didn’t always yield edible results).

  • Reply Coco June 28, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I”m not very good with meal planning although i try to 🙂 I usually have few recipes I want to try per week and the other days just cook whatever it’s in the fridge.

  • Reply Emily June 28, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    My husband is the primary cook in our household, and our regular meal plan during COVID has settled into 1 takeout night (usually Indian/Chinese/Ethiopian/something we don’t cook in our own rotation), 1 grill (burgers/veggie burgers) night, pasta with red sauce, Whole Foods General Tso’s vegan chicken + rice + broccoli, pasta with pesto/arugula, homemade pizza night, and leftovers. Lunches are mac n’ cheese/pancakes/sandwiches for kids and for us a green smoothie and usually something like eggs/veggie sausage or sandwiches. Sometimes I crave a little more variety but with the craziness of working full time from home with no child care and no end in sight, having meal planning not be adding to our mental load during the last three months has been crucial.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 29, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    We are also a family that lives on leftovers. There’s only 3 of us – my husband, 2yo son, and me. So we can really make meals stretch. We usually cook 3 meals/week and order take out once/week. This week our meals are shredded BBQ pork in the crockpot (made that yesterday), shrimp tacos (the toddler will eat a cheese quesadilla because he will not eat shrimp despite multiple exposures) and brats with roasted potatoes (both on the grill) and corn on the cob. The toddler will eat none of this meal so he’ll have banana pancakes or something like that. We typically have enough leftovers to give me something to eat for lunch most days. I always have a little side salad with my lunch so the leftovers go further with a side salad as an ‘appetizer’. My husband grocery shops on Saturday morning so our meal plan carries us through Friday night. If we run out of leftovers, we’ll eat simple meals like a tuna sandwich (me) or scrambled eggs. We are trying to make meals that our toddler will potentially eat but some weeks that works out better than others.

  • Reply Heather June 29, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Interesting, I find if I shop the sales at Whole Foods, it is a few dollars cheaper than Publix because of Amazon Prime. Honestly, though, groceries just seem more expensive everywhere.

    Breakfast: turkey sausage, egg whites, banana and English muffin…everyday.
    Lunch: Salad with chicken and an apple…everyday.
    Dinner: I batch cook different proteins, veggies and carbs on Sunday and we just eat that all week.

    We’re pretty boring eaters.

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