this week: groceries & dinner plans.

by Janetha on February 25, 2013

in groceries,how to,meals

hi, guys!

as you may know, i make a weekly dinner plan and go grocery shopping every sunday. it’s a ritual. it’s therapeutic. i love it. want me to meal plan and grocery shop for you? i will. it’s my favorite thing to do. i will even do it for free.. how about a trade? i do your meal planning and grocery shopping, and you fold my laundry. PERFECT.

anyway, i decided to document yesterday’s purchases so you could see what a typical week of groceries looks like. marshall went with me on my grocery run (i usually go alone) so that made it a lot quicker. i typically walk up and down EVERY aisle of EVERY store i go to (that’s the therapeutic part for me) but since he was with me, i stuck to my list and was in and out a lot quicker.

we went to trader joe’s, whole foods, and target. it’s funny, after leaving trader joe’s and going around the corner to whole foods, we ran into a couple while getting our cart. the guy said, “hey, weren’t you just at trader joe’s?” i laughed, telling him it’s a sunday ritual! i love how close the two stores are. i always hit up trader joe’s first because it’s cheaper. i then go to whole foods to get anything i couldn’t get at trader joe’s—like kombucha and chobani.


i have a few steps to make my list.

IMG 7091

first i check the cupboards and i plan out my dinners for the week according to what i have on hand, then i write the needed items for those dinners on the list.

second, i take a produce inventory and decide what fruits and vegetables we need. we use a lot of produce in our morning whole food juice and i usually pair a veggie with dinner. i also like to eat veggies and hummus with my lunch and fruit before my workout. the produce items i ALWAYS have on hand are apples, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.

third, i ask marshall what he wants/needs from the store for his snacks, breakfasts, and lunches. i don’t plan those for him, he decides and just tells me what to buy. this usually includes things like bagels, cream cheese, applesauce, canned soups, cereal, oatmeal, ice cream, and kombucha.

fourth, i take an inventory of what i have for my snacks, breakfasts, and lunches. i don’t plan those day to day, but they are always really similar. as long as i have a few protein and a few carb options on hand, i can build a satisfying lunch. almost every day of the week, my breakfast is the same protein shake.. so i really just need bananas, spinach, and almond milk.

finally, i read through my list to see if there is anything i missed. i use this awesome list that has several items on it that i can check mark if i need them, which helps me remember if i missed anything. i LOVE this “all out of” list—it is so convenient!

it has a magnet on the back and hangs on our fridge so we can check mark or write in items we need as we think of them through the week. it’s a list-lover’s DREAM.

anyway, that’s how i make my list. then i head out! i always hit up multiple stores. since my favorites are in salt lake (i live in a suburb to the north) i will usually make the journey out there and go to trader joe’s and whole foods. if i don’t feel like going that far, i will go to harmon’s or smith’s. if costco is needed, i will go there.. but i try to avoid it because i impulse buy like nobody’s business and impulse buying at costco can get expensive. i am not super organized and don’t look at ads to see what’s on sale.. i simply go where i feel like. oh, and 100% of the time, i end up going to the store again during the week.

here’s what we got yesterday! i will note the impulse buys so you can see how far i strayed from my list. i did REALLY well since marshall was with me and i didn’t take time to mindlessly wander!

image meals & moves 006

a closer look…

meals & moves 008 meals & moves 007


  • hard boiled eggs
  • roasted chicken (cooked)
  • chicken breasts (raw)
  • turkey meatballs (frozen)


  • broccoli & cauliflower
  • spinach
  • romaine
  • apples
  • avocados


  • goat cheese crumbles
  • mediterranean feta
  • vegan mozzarella (going to give it a shot)<—impulse buy
  • mozzarella slices
  • whipped cream cheese


  • coconut chips<—impulse buy
  • rice cakes
  • dark chocolate almonds
  • popcorn
  • turkey jerky<—impulse buy


  • tomato basil hummus
  • tortillas
  • pre-made egg salad<—impulse buy
  • pre-made salads (2)<—impulse buy
  • coconut body butter


image meals & moves 004


  • eggs
  • chobani greek yogurt


  • heirloom tomato


  • izze
  • kombucha
  • chai concentrate<—impulse buy


  • tortilla chips (these are the best, they are super thin and delicious.. like restaurant chips!)


  • pizza sauce, dough & toppings (see below)
  • coconut milk creamer (vanilla and plain)
  • canned soup


i usually don’t go to target, but i needed some household items that aren’t found at TJs or WF, so we went there on our way home. i typically buy deodorant, mouth wash, and razors at costco.. but i realized that if i went there to buy them, i would end up impulse buying way too much crap. (i impulse bought enough stuff as target as it is!) so i opted to buy these things at target to tide me over to the next time i *really* need to go to costco.

meals & moves 014

  • clorox wipes
  • all purpose cleaner
  • razors
  • mouthwash
  • deodorant
  • fruity pebbles<—impulse buy
  • lint roller
  • iron
  • sports bra<—impulse buy
  • extra lemon gum<—impulse buy
  • pear & raspberry chocolate chobani (i have only found these flavors at target!)


like i said, i don’t really plan specific breakfast, lunches, and snacks.. but i do plan dinners! i don’t plan exactly what day we will have each dinner, but i make sure to plan five or six dinners to have during the week. here’s what is on tap for the week:

chances are we will eat out at least one night and won’t get to all of these meals, but it’s nice to know we have everything for them (aside from the buns for the meatball subs.. i will buy those fresh on the day we have them.) the meal(s) we don’t have will roll over into next week. remember, my groceries above don’t include all the items for those dinners. i try to plan the dinners around what we already have and then buy the needed ingredients to complete the plan.

we had the pizza last night—it’s our favorite meal! we have it at least weekly.. sometimes more. the dough is only $2 from whole foods (multigrain dough ball.) the toppings last night were marinara, goat cheese, and marinated veggies (tomatoes, peppers, and olives.) marshall made the pizza and finished it off with a balsamic glaze drizzle. mmmm.

meals & moves 020

pizza is perfect for us portion-wise.. i have 3 slices and marshall has 5. it works out!

hope you have enjoyed my rambles about list making, grocery shopping, and dinner planning. let me know if you’d like to see more posts like this, i am happy to share!


1. do you impulse buy often? what was your last impulse purchase?

2. what is your meal planning & grocery shopping method?

xo. janetha g.

p.s. clif CRUNCH winners have been emailed! thanks for entering the giveaway.

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Cheri Z February 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Guilty as charged on the impulse buying. I always do, but I try to stay as close to the list as possible. This weekend I picked up Peanut Butter & Co. ‘s White Chocolate Wonderful for my daughter. (She’s a good kid and deserved it.) Costco and Sam’s Club are the worst for impulse buying! =D

I generate my list over the week, then shop on the weekend. I focus on the basics, then create my meals based on what I have.

Karin February 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I’d be down for that trade of laundry folding for meal planning…only problem is that I’m in NYC. My worst impulse buys are in the produce department – I go crazy and then skip the rest of the “danger” aisles…

BroccoliHut February 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Eee! I love this post! I get crazy-excited about grocery shopping, so I’m glad to see someone else does too.
I don’t impulse buy as much as I used to; being more fiscally responsible was one of my resolutions this year. That being said, I did buy a bunch of flavors of those Blue Diamond almonds a few weeks ago–they were on sale and they’re SO good!
My weekly ritual consists of making a meal plan (including breakfast, lunch, dinner), making a list (using a template I found on Pinterest), and matching items to sales and coupons. My go-to stores are SuperTarget and Harris Teeter. I always go to both because neither one carries everything I need!

Lee February 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm

My last impulse buy were these chocolate covered frozen banana slices. They weren’t that great and I could have made them myself. Oh well.

My Target has a decently sized grocery section (it’s not a super Target with a full grocery store, but it has some produce) and they actually have some really good deals on stuff. Amy’s products being one of them and their frozen shrimp is really good and not frozen tasting too. I have also only seen those Chobani bites at Target.

Erica February 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm

This is exactly how i shop too! I go on fridays and it totally is theraputic. Our harris teeters has a starbucks inside so i get my coffee and shop away! Kaylin loves going to (mostly for the bread samples)

Logan @ Mountains and Miles February 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I usually make a list Friday night and go shopping either then or Saturday morning. We cook a lot of our foods from scratch, so if we are cooking something with beans (which we pretty much always do) we have to soak them overnight. Then we spend about 4-5 hours on Saturday or Sunday and prep all of our meals for the week. It takes a big chunk out of our weekend, but it’s so much more enjoyable during the week when we can both come home and relax rather than figuring dinner out.

Heather @ Heather's Dish February 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I love seeing how others do their shopping! I usually make a menu for the week and then list out the stuff that we need for those meals – I tried a lot of different ways, but it works best for me this way!

Sam @ Better With Sprinkles February 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I feel the same way about meal planning and grocery shopping – it’s therapeutic! I take a similar approach, except I get fliers to my apartment each week so I take note on sales, especially for proteins/meats. Then I build my meal plan around what I already have and what’s on sale – I only plan dinners, and keep basic stuff for breakfast (oatmeal, eggs, english muffins, etc), lunches and snacks.

Linz @ Itz Linz February 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

i don’t meal plan, but there are many staples i buy on a weekly basis. i go to the grocery store a few times a week usually, so if i’m in the mood to prepare a specific dish, then i buy those ingredients. love whole foods and trader joe’s!

Brittney @ Brittney Breathing February 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Ah, I love this post! I am also obsessed with meal planning…I think it’s so fun! I’m actually pretty good at impulse buys..except at Trader Joe’s. All bets are off at that place for sure.

Mandy February 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

You know I HATE grocery shopping but I am a list lover and need that ASAP!! I will fold your laundry and vacuum for shopping trade! I impulse buy pretty much everything and my last was a bath tub pillow!

Katie February 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Gah, you are so organized it almost makes me sick. Sick with jealousy because (aside from cleaning bathrooms), planning/shopping is my most dreaded task of the week. I want to live in your house. (I’ll gladly fold your laundry). Let’s make it happen in April. Then again in May.

Bridget February 25, 2013 at 9:00 pm

When you have time, I would love to see a post on what you guys put in your morning juice. I have a vitamix and recently started making fruit/veg juices but would love some new ideas.

Candice February 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I love grocery shopping by myself… don’t love bringing my kiddos.. but don’t get enough time to do go by my lonesome.
If I do, its always target!

Sarah February 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Our system is super similar…except we eat like double that amount of food. You do the math :)

But I’m with you…I LOVE grocery shopping and meal planning!

ML Bishop February 25, 2013 at 10:11 pm

i am obsessed with that coconut milk creamer! thanks for the post, i get totally excited to grocery shop too. we have whole foods and tj’s right by each other as well, and so every weekend my husband and i go together to brave the crowds.

Stacey February 26, 2013 at 5:40 am

I am just like you! I take a couple hours every weekend, cruise Pintrest and my cookbooks and plan my meals for the week. Then I’m totally organized and don’t need to go to the grocery store 3 or 4 times that week.

katie February 26, 2013 at 5:42 am

YAY for lots of good stuff!

You will love the egg salad from tj’s, at least I do! I have not bought it since being preggo, just to be safe!

Love you!

Sara @ fitcupcaker February 26, 2013 at 6:09 am

I love grocery shopping too..I cant wait for the weekend so I can do this. Unfortunately kroger is the only close thing. Whole foods and tj’s are so far away so those usually come on random days. I usually impulse buy unless i am on a strict budget…my impulse buys are usually snacks for the boys, belvita biscuits, dark choc, etc!

Cancan February 26, 2013 at 6:37 am

haha haa I have to say I love your posts. You are so real and although we are totally different in so many other ways there are so many similarities. Makes me smile. First of… I love the coconut body butter at TJ’s I swim 4 days a week and LOVE the stuff. I have to have it despite the fact that we have so many other body lotion stuff at home I buy that. Do tell me how you like those coconut chips. As for the impulse buys.. Are you kidding me?? All the time. Coconut milk kefir… Most recently the blueberry kefir from lifeline. My freezer is full of impulse buy items that I bought from TJ’s or WF or a smaller organic vegan grocery store. For example I have two bags of organic vegan tamales in the freezer waiting to be eaten.
On the other hand the coconut body butter from TJ’s was totally an awesome buy and I was not sure but then love the stuff so it all works out. BTW do you like that coconut creamer? I have tried so many times and wasted so much $$ and never learn my lesson. I keep buying it and it never grows on me. LOve the soy milk creamer at TJ’s though AND so muc mh cheaper too.. Just an idea. Thank you!!

Kelsey M February 26, 2013 at 7:19 am

Loved this post! More like this in the future please!

Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom February 26, 2013 at 7:24 am

I am a total impulse shopper and Target is my weakness! So I try not to go there that often but find I’m there about every 2 weeks anyway to pick up things we need.

Like you I make a menu for the week where we can change around the meals and then pick up the ingredients I need… sometimes those extras make it in the buggy as well… oops!

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning February 26, 2013 at 7:25 am

Those coconut chips were definitely a recent impulse buy for me. HOT DANG they are good!
I always go to TJs and WF together, because both are about 40 minutes south of me. And I spend sooooo much money there.
I end up going to about 3 different stores throughout the week to get what I need. Wegman’s is pretty much the ONLY store that carries every single item on my list, but it’s always a madhouse there. I prefer to do most of my shopping at a small organic co-op in my town. I call it “little Boulder” because that’s what it reminds me of. “My people.”

Emily N February 26, 2013 at 7:29 am

I would be GLAD to fold your laundry for you, as long as I can watch TV while I am doing it! :) so… meal requirements, husband likes bar food, I like healthy food. GO! :)
Great post though! :)

Corey @ When We Wander February 26, 2013 at 7:32 am

I’m so bad because I am that person who goes to the grocery store when they are starving and literally buy everything in site. Woops!

Calee February 26, 2013 at 8:13 am

sooooo you’re telling me we’re not the only weirdos that go to 3-4 places to get our weekly shopping done? cool. :)

Julie February 26, 2013 at 9:04 am

I bought some of the coconut chips per your suggestion. I need to stock up! I will sometimes get a bar of chocolate too, or chocolate chips.

Annette@FitnessPerks February 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

HAHA.We are the opposite–I hate grocery shopping but don’t mind doing laundry or folding it. Let’s trade?! :)

I go to 2 different stores about every week and a half, and then throw in a Trader Joe’s run probably every 2 weeks (it’s near where I teach Zumba 1x/week) so it works out. If I don’t have something on hand, I do without. I hate going to the store for 1 or two things actually!

That pizza looks AMAZING. I could eat pizza at any time of any day. Just sayin.

CrystalB February 26, 2013 at 10:40 am

I am loving that list! My last impulse buy was a calypso lemonade on Sunday. I love that stuff, but I only drink a tiny bit of it at a time because it’s so sweet.

I am super OCD about meal planning so I am crazy about my lists. I plan a whole month in advance and split it into weeks (1-4), then I split those into days (1.1, 1.2, etc). We do a huge bulk trip the first weekend of the month at Costco, stop at Trader Joes and Whole Foods for specialty items, then we hit Harmons every Sunday. My kid loves grocery shopping, so it’s always a family event.

susan February 26, 2013 at 11:21 am

I really need an iron!!!

Where did you get the card artwork on the walls? very cool!!!

Janetha February 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm

From a local furniture store :)

Carrie February 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

I think I could read a whole blog just of people posting their grocery-hauls…does that make me weird? Don’t answer that, haha.

I’m sad that coconut chips haven’t made their way to the NYC Trader Joe’s yet. Still keeping my eye out for ’em!

cathy February 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm

That’s the same pizza split my hubs and I do too. <3 I'm an impulse buyer too esp if I forget my list.

Meghan @ After the Ivy League February 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I am always impulse buying sports bras and workout gear at Target! The other day I hit up the clearance rack and walked away with five, yes FIVE workout tops. Definitely did not need those.

Paige @ Your Trainer Paige February 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I can’t wait until Boulder gets a TJ’s! That’s one thing I do miss from Illinois. Those coconut chips – I need to get my mits on those!

Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) February 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Mmm…so many good buys!!

And your pizza looks delish! I love that you finished it off with a balsamic glaze. So yummy. :D

purelytwins February 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm

too funny – I do the same thing. I shop usually try to go on Mondays – I go to trader joes first then off to whole foods for the same reasons as you. it is a ritual of mine lately, well ever since whole foods was built here in Charlotte ;) and the bad new (well for Gary at least) is that it is right up the street, good news for me though hehe

Yana February 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Yes, please, more posts like this!

I am an obsessive planner and list maker. I am also obsessed with food. Which means I am pretty much constantly thinking about meals and shopping for them, scouting the blog-verse for recipes, and cooking. I have to admit that I love the planning and cooking part much more than shopping part. I’d gladly fold laundry while somebody else is doing the shopping.

Jessica Eickmier February 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm

First off I have to say how happy I am that I am not the only crazy who loves grocery shopping! I always felt a little dorking when I wake up sat morning browse recipes, check my cupboards and then make my list, with coffee in hand!!! Then I usually shop at New Season (similar to Whole foods for meats and produce then on to Fred Meyer (which is like a Safeway)
Not sure about anyone else, but there is something about having a stocked fridge and full cupboards with healthy food. Makes me feel rich :)

My last impulse buy was from Trader Joe’s, their baked hickory smoked potato chips, SUPER good!!! But so is most things I buy from there:)

Janetha – I saw in your post you do a whole juic , what do you put in yours? I recently purchased a Blendtec (which I love) and am obsessed with, but would love to know what juice you make in the mornings?

kristen @ livinlifeinlouie February 27, 2013 at 9:46 am

I LOVE trader joe’s. I wish there was one closer to my house. What is your favorite thing to get there?
I think Target is known to EVERYONE as impulse buys haha

Janetha February 27, 2013 at 10:33 am

It’s hard to play favorites with Trader Joe’s! But two things I always have on hand from there are the tomato basil hummus and the champagne vinaigrette dressing :)

kristen @ livinlifeinlouie February 27, 2013 at 11:29 am

when I head there this weekend I will have to check those out! thanks!

Sierra February 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I am completely the opposite with bringing my husband. He makes everything take so much longer and we end up with endless snacks and the grocery bill is huge. I am a control freak and I like to monitor the food that comes in the house. If it were up to him, we would have pop chips, cheese, beer, ice cream and pizza. Maybe some boxed brownies once in a while too.

That lemon gum is amazing. Great impulse buy!

A February 28, 2013 at 6:26 am

Hi Janetha

I noticed in a recent post you said you love chobani…are you still eating yogurt?
Another thing: I loved seeing your recent weekend breakdown…it showed how REAL you are…you said during the week you are more diligent with food, etc…can you show a day or two each week of all your eats? Kath did this recently on KERF and I’m not really into her style of eating cause she’s the generic RD 50-20-30, etc (which works for her, so that’s cool! but its good to see others approaches).

I have zillion digestive issues but am quite unwilling to do juicing (NOISE with roommates, clean-up, expense, etc) and I need to be REALISTIc about what to do. I’m quite quite inactive (I walk daily on a treadmill that has no incline and I do bodyweight stuff). I’m in my 30’s and 5 feet 2, but also a little underweight so I’m in that mental hot spot of needing to gain, but not feeling mentally good about it if I donn’t do it “right”…chronic fatigue makes exercise kinda …not up to par :)

Like, if you did NO cardio and little exercise, would you feel okay with grains, etc?

I’m at this point with digestion where I A) want/need to be “good” and straight and eat very gently and SIMPLE and then gradually branch out to funner inclusive things, OR B) just fricking stop being so worried about the digestion and how everything affects it and eat some freaking popchips and pizza :)

Yeah, so anyway, thanks for the responses re the day in the life & the chobani.

(oh, and do you buy ONLY organic and hormone-free? I kinda am unable to and am trying to be “okay” with that!).

Janetha February 28, 2013 at 7:39 am

Hey! I do love Chobani and have recently tried eating it again. I had one yesterday and was way bloated, but I also had one last Friday and was fine. I have no idea the rhyme or reason to my GI issues. I know it’s more muscular related than food related–thanks to all my motility and GI testing. I even just will eat ice cream sometimes because I love it and will deal with the pain.

I will try to so more entire day posts. Not sure I’d make a couple a week, but ill try to do more. I’ve done them in the past if you want to see right away–it’s called “Tuesday’s entirety” if you search it in my search bar.

Ill be honest, I’m just a regular eater. I don’t eat super healthy and, no, I don’t buy organic all the time. Not even most of the time. I try to be health conscious, but I am not crazy about it. If I want to eat something, I do. For example, Tuesday night I had a ton of chips and salsa, three tacos (beef, chicken, and rice) and a Corona. I also never base what I can eat on what exercise I’ve done. I try to relate exercise to getting stronger and faster–not to bring able to or not being able to eat something.

Anyway, sorry for the long reply! Ill try to get more full days posted for you soon!

A February 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Great perspective and one that I really appreciate. I do no cardio other than short, simple walks and occasionall body weight stuff (not much)..maybe I’m getting a misrepresentation of what REAL people in the REAL world actually do when I visit all these bloggers that do about 1000 things and have energy through the roof.
It always uneases me to read those posts (frequently from young gals unaware of their orthorexic sway…who base cals only on exercise)…my own fault, but I’ve fallen into that trap of “well, I do nothing, so I can’t have crap all”…God, I don’t want to think that. And I REFUSE to just believe that the 30’s are “downhill” and have to “try harder”…I jus want to get rid of the mental stress and anxiety and freaking eat….
Just munching on Terra chips then…a no no food for me typically since I can eat nearly the whole bag and theres like a carb per chip….oh well…just sick and tired of caring to be honest.

And I hear you on how food sometimes bothers u…but then doesn’t…same with me with greek yogurt…good one day, not the next,…often dark chocolate will make me “go” but other times not….its wonky really…i do find the “simpler generic” yogurts like “iogo” or those “crap” ones better handled by me to be honest…sometimes I think we’d be better ooff re-evalutating how far and how much “healthy eating ” is really healthy?….maybe jamie lee curtis and her activia is not so bad after all :) or maybe if just broke down and went on a pizza and beer diet, I’d poop with ease : ) I read a story like that in the book “Health Food Junkies” by Stephen Bratman which I think a LOT of “healthy” living bloggers should read since it show the true nuances or orthorexia and going to far with things.

Janetha February 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Love your reply and couldn’t agree with you more :) I went out to eat again for lunch today and am going again tomorrow. I love food and it is a big part of my life–I have tried the strict diet thing and have found I would rather be a little bigger and eat what I want than be super lean and never splurge. Thanks for your insight, A!

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