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Armed with a List

Jul 19, 2013 | Meal Planning | 0 comments

Learn how to create a meal prep grocery list to set yourself up for success. Make sure to download our free grocery list template at the end of the post!

The grocery store. To some, it is a wonderful, calming experience. They love walking up and down each aisle. In a way, it becomes a recreational activity. For others, the grocery is a place to get into and out of as quickly as possible.

Grocery list organized by section.
Prep Dish meal plans come with a grocery list organized by section of the store.

Whatever your grocery shopping style, the fact remains that there are certain items you have to have before leaving. Heading into the grocery store armed with an organized list can be the difference between a relaxing experience, and a harried zig-zag back and forth between different parts of the store. Even if you’re a grocery store enthusiast, returning to the same section five times in one visit can become a bit, well…wearing.

When I first sit down to write my grocery list, I write down everything I could need as I think of it. There is no order. Thursday dinner leads way to Monday breakfast followed by Saturday brunch. It leaves me with a jumbled list of ingredients to sift through in the grocery store. Not only does this increase the chances that I’ll overlook something, it eats up time and leaves me stressed out by item number three. Now, after making sure I’ve captured all the ingredients I’ll need for the week, I go back through and create a new list, organizing by section of the grocery store.

Creating a Meal Prep Grocery List

  1. Plan your meals.
    • What will you be making this week? Plan it out so that you have enough meals and snacks for each day of the week.
    • Think about planning meals that will maximize produce and other whole food purchases.
  2. Check your ingredients
    • Do you have everything that you need for each recipe? What do you still need? If you need it, throw it on the list. Don’t worry about organization at this point. That will come later.
  3. Double-check your list.
  4. Visualize the store.
    • How is your favorite grocery store organized? What items are grouped together and in what order to you get to each section? This will make it easier to correctly organize your list.
  5. Group by section
    • Now that you know what you need and the sections of the grocery store, you can group the ingredients based on section. Rewrite your list, marking off each item as you place it in its group.
  6. Organize!
    • Be sure that the groups are ordered based on the order you’ll reach each section. This will help keep you organized and on track in the grocery store.

Organizing your grocery list can help ensure you get in and out of the store with everything you need and without extra stress. Want to give it a try for yourself? We have created organized grocery list templates in both PDF and Microsoft Word formats for you to use.

Get the free download here!

Because we think it's so important, each Prep Dish meal plan comes with a grocery list organized like this for your convenience. Check out our meal plans and start saving time today!

What is your grocery shopping style? Share your ideas and pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as @prepdish in all 3 places, or leave a comment below.

Want to save for later?  Pin the image below!

Grocery List Template
Beginner Menu Guide


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Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Learn more…

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