A well-designed meal plan can keep you organized and keep you on track for any meal-related goals you may have. But, when you head to the grocery store, you have t know what to buy, and how much, in order to successfully implement your plan.
Enter the Shopping List.
When your plan is set up, click the Shopping List button on the main menu and start building your list based entirely on your plan. Click the “New Shopping List” button on the top left of the screen. Now let the program know the day you intend to go shopping and the last day the shopping trip will cover in your plan. Click “Save,” and take a preview of your shopping list.
Controlling Your Shopping List
From here, it’s all about control. Use the controls at the bottom of the list and next to the actual items to edit your list. At first, your shopping list will be sorted by alpha. However, you can also sort your list by Section. But, before you do, you’ll need to add Store Sections and Add Items to those sections. Start by “Adding a Store Section.” Common sections may include produce and the butcher. Your sections may be based on what you buy or where you shop: for example, our favorite grocery store has a bulk section, and we don’t buy much from the middle, so we call this “Condiments,” in our controls. When you have your section(s) set, you can add items to your sections. Click “Add Item to Store Section,” select the section, and type the item as it appears on your list. Yes, this process is tedious, especially at the beginning. But, it goes pretty quick. And, each week, you’ll find yourself adding fewer and fewer (if any) items to sections. Sort your list by section using the link at the top left: “Sort by Section.”
In our house, there are certain items that need to be purchased every week: milk, eggs, bacon, and yogurt are the main ones. We add these to meals, eat them as snacks, drink them, and just generally think having them around is a good idea. Click the double-circle icon next to any item to add it to your repeating items list. This item will show up every week, whether it’s in a recipe or not. To review your repeating items, Click the “Repeating Items” in the controls.
Each item itself can be controlled as well. Delete items you already have in the pantry (salt comes to mind) with the trashcan icon. Use the check mark to edit an item, to say increase or decrease the quantity based on what’s already in the pantry. And, as mentioned above, have an item show up every week by clicking on the double circle icon.
Need a new list, or a list for just one day? Click on “New List” and set your parameters, and go!
Ready to head to the store? Don’t forget to take your list with you. You can use the list right inside the Meal Planning Board. Or, use the “Print this List” link right next to the “Shopping List for…” title at the top of the list for a clean, printer-friendly list. Head off to the store confident you have everything you need right in front of you, and that nothing will be left behind at the store.