Your family will beg to do the grocery shopping….Easy as 1,2,3 ! (not really, but at least you wont hate it as much)

I can’t do it for you, but I could make it a little bit easier- the grocery shopping that is.

It’s a thankless job really and can get quite monotonous when you have to get light bulbs and band-aids and tampons.

A couple of years ago I was complaining about this chore and The Hubbers suggested that we have just have Meatloaf Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Whatever Wednesdays etc like his Mom did.

Ummm No thank you sir.  I will not resort to eating Tacos every Tuesday for the rest of my life.

But I did figure out a lovely solution….

I spent an entire week one summer making a binder of 15 Master Menus.

Each Menu has 5 Dinners at the top of the page, then the list of the ingredients in order that coordinates with the grocery aisles, and the bottom of the page has directions for preparing the meal.

Here’s the clincher….I can delegate grocery shopping and cooking now!

H E L L O!?  Do you know awesome that is?  I have two teens and one Hubbers that can giterdone! Yeah baby!

Sorry, lost my composure.

Here is a sample Master Menu:


Salmon or Tilapia, Rosemary Potatoes, green beans or edamame (prices determine choices)

Greek Salad with Shrimp and crusty bread

Vegetable Tarts

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with guacamole on whole grain buns with chips, and fruit


Green beans or edamame

New potatoes (6-8 fist size or equivalent)  and rosemary, lemon

2 tomatoes, cucumber, romaine, dill, garlic for Greek Salad

3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves for the tarts

Potatoes (4 big ones), 1 bunch green onions or 1 small purple onion

2 avocados, 1 lemon   for guacamole

Fruit…watermelon? grapes? Clementines?…check price per pound

Loaf of whole grain, uncut from Bakery baskets

Buns for burgers…whole grain, not too big

Salmon or Tilapia

Red wine vinegar, evoo, Greek Seasoning

Kalamata olives

Sun dried tomatoes in oil


Artichokes…small jar

Burger condiments, mayo, ketchup, jalapenos, salsa, whatever

2 can Ranch Black Beans (vegan)

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, frozen, near pies or desserts usually. Or an empty Pie Shell

Broccoli, medium bag, frozen

Spicy Black Bean Burgers, frozen

Shrimp, frozen, about 5 big ones per person…look for peeled and deveined


Feta or goat cheese (2)

1 small light sour cream

Cheddar   as topping for potatoes and bean burgers


Salmon or Tilapia, Rosemary Potatoes, green beans or edamame: bake frozen fish with lemon juice and pepper in a foil packet in toaster oven for 30, skin side down. Dice the new potatoes and add to hot skillet with evoo. Add snipped rosemary and sea salt. Steam green beans or edamame in steamer basket after potatoes are about ¾ done.

Greek Salad with Shrimp and crusty bread: Boil shrimp and chill. Make dressing- ¼ c. evoo+ 1/8 c. red wine vinegar + chopped clove garlic + 1 Tablespoon Greek Seasoning. Warm bread in foil or toast individual slice.  Salad= 2 diced tomatoes, peel and diced cucumber, wash/dry/chopped romaine lettuce, 2 teaspoons dill, kalamatas, 1 box feta/goat. Drizzle dressing, toss, plate up, top with shrimp.

Vegetable Tarts: prebake a sheet of thawed pastry (or 2), but first, slice it into fourths and fold up the edges so u have 4 individual tarts. Meanwhile pat the tomatoes and artichoke leaves with paper towels to absorb oil. Let pastry cool a bit then layer on a little pesto, then tomatoes bits and artichoke leaves, then fresh spinach, then feta or goat cheese.  Bake again until leaves wilt a little and cheese is softened.

Loaded Baked Potatoes: Wash and pierce potatoes.  Bake at 400 for an hour, or in foil in crock pot all day.  Heat Ranch Black Beans in little sauce pot, and steam the frozen broccoli. Shred some cheese, chop the green onions, and put out the sour cream.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers: mash avocados, add lemon, salt, garlic pwdr or not. Heat patties in toaster oven with a little cheddar or top. Toast buns. Put out condiments and chips. Prep/clean fruit.



On shopping day I pull a Master from a plastic sleeve out of the binder, Xerox it and put the Master back.  I take the copy to the kitchen to cross off stuff that I already have and add stuff I need like light bulbs and tampons. When I get home I put the copy on the fridge for the week.  Occasionally, when I’m drowning in textbooks I holler out, “someone start dinner!” , and somebody will go in there and start slicing and dicing and preheating!

This system means that we eat tacos three times a year not 52. I can deal with that.

I don’t do seven dinners since we go out on Sundays, or to friends on the weekends, or are all flying solo.  There are always frozen pizzas or peanut butter to fill the menu gaps.

You do not have to cook the first item on Monday and the second one on Tuesday.  Let your avocados or fruit decide who gets eaten first. Choose an easier meal on a busy night.

I have summery menus with Moonlight Soup and Tomato Tart and autumnal menus with roasted squashes and Crockpot Vegetarian Chili for Monday Night Football (geaux Saints).

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have a better sysytem.  I would love to make grocery shopping as painless as possible.

Btw…have you seen this lately? Let’s take a gander shall we?

new mayo clinic diet


Perfection. Why can’t the USDA come up with something similar? LOOOOOOOVE the picture of the walking feet as the center of a nutrition plan! Bravo Mayo.



Post Sript- I jest about my hatred towards grocery shopping.  I feel blessed to live in a country where I have an abundance at my finger tips…and that Ican walk out with 15 meals worth of food every week (and tampons and band-aids),



Filed under Food

2 responses to “Your family will beg to do the grocery shopping….Easy as 1,2,3 ! (not really, but at least you wont hate it as much)

  1. Tracy

    I have an idea! Just publish your book and we will all buy it from you. I’m all about efficiency and not doing double work. 😉

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