20 Minute Groceries – Minimalist Shopper – How to Plan my Grocery Shopping


When I grocery shopped last week, I decided to time it so that you all would know how much time I actually spend grocery shopping. 22 MINUTES! Did you hear that? That included checking out. This is for a family of seven shopping every week. And I wasn’t rushing or changing any of the items I’d normally shop for. Check out the actual menu plan and shopping list I used at the end of this post.
Here’s how I do it:

1. Start your grocery shopping by using a menu planner.

You can watch my video 3 Easy Steps to Menu Planning That’ll Save You Time, Money, and Energy to learn how to make your own super easy-to-use menu planner. And don’t forget to get the menu planner pdf too!

2. Grab a copy of my Weekly Shopping List pdf.

3. Pick a day to do your planning.

We do all of our weekly planning (for everything) on Sundays. You can check out my section of videos where I cover weekly scheduling/planning. After I’ve completed my menu I look at the week ahead and choose Monday or Tuesday to do my shopping, which is based on which day I may already have errands. One trip is always better than two.

4. Check out the fridge, freezer, and cupboards to see what’s on hand.

As I do my menu planning I am scanning the fridge and cupboards to see what I already have. By incorporating vegetables that will soon go bad into this week’s menu I never have to throw gloopy unidentifiable masses.

Because we like to try new recipes often, we do have an item or two that is new each week. So I do not use a pre-filled shopping list. It just seems quicker to write down what I need rather than being distracted with dozens more options of items I could be buying. I just look at the menu and look at the cupboards to see what I’m out of.

For simplicity I use a menu that is very similar each week (excepting maybe one new meal) then I can pretty well know what needs to go on the list each week. When you have all of your weekly meals laid out in front of you it is simple to hold it in one hand while you look at the cupboards to see what you need.

I like to have kids do this part. While I sit at the counter I yell out, “Bethany, coconut oil! Ethan, corn meal! Lizzie, black beans!…etc.” And since our home is a competitive one, it gets done quickly. When they’re grown, or sooner, they’ll know how to plan meals and shopping lists efficiently. My fourteen year-old does most of the menu planning around our house (she likes to have control over what she eats). Works for me!

5. Hit the Store!

I like to shop at a small discount food store (in my area it’s Aldi) so that I am not sucked into the office supplies department of a big box store where I could drop some serious money. After I have my staples I get anything else I need from my favorite store, Kroger. Now, if I have a lot of specialty foods on my list I will just start at Kroger and only get staples that are on Manager’s Discount. Sometimes I can get away with only going to Kroger’s.

As I’m shopping I look for amazing meat and frozen fruit or veggie sales. If I ever see chicken breasts below 1.88/lb then I’ll get a month’s worth. If quinoa is on sale then I’ll buy extra of that. I almost never buy anything that is not regularly on our menu so that I am not tempted to buy more than we can use that week or in the case of meat, a few weeks.

Because I’m using a generic shopping list, rather than the one I once used for just Aldi’s, I am able to go to any other store and know exactly which section to head for.

This is last week’s menu plan and shopping list. I didn’t have a lot of meat to buy because I just buy it when it’s on sale. If you’ll notice, there is nothing in the Household section. I only buy dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, garbage bags, and tissues at CVS when they have fantastic deals.

Grocery shopping is only for grocery shopping. I do other shopping at a different time when I have other errands to run. If I try to cram it in all at once then, again, I get tempted to buy too much from places like Wally World.

5 1/2. Set a timer to save you money.

Oh, how this can save you time AND money. Do your regular shopping and time it the first time. The next time you go, try cutting it down by ten minutes. See how fast you can get your shopping done. It’s more fun than it sounds!

Show us your menu and/or shopping list over on the Love My Schedule Facebook Page. Remember, some of us need some encouragement to learn this stuff.

Thanks for hanging out with me and remember, make the most of EVERY day!

What are your favorite stores to shop at and why? Let me know in the comments below!

 *Yes, I use Amazon Affiliate links. No, they don’t cost anything extra. Maybe, we can pay for a child’s doctor visit. I ONLY recommend products and services that I personally use and love.

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1 Comment

  1. Love My Schedule
    January 13, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    Just about every week I spend no more than one hour planning all of my meals, making my shopping list, AND grocery shopping! No joke. Once you get set up and have the hang of it (in just a couple weeks) you’ll be able to spend way less time on meal planning and grocery shopping.

    Where do you like to shop that gets you in and out lickety-split?

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