20 min shopping, 2 weeks of food, 28 meals

20 minutes planning.

20 minutes shopping.

For 2 weeks of food, 28 meals.

This blog post is to help you meal plan, get in and out of the store quickly, and what to do when you’re back at home. Here is an old post:  HOW TO PLAN A MENU, worthy yet needs updating.

My 2-week formula, see details, below:

  • 20 minutes planning (this is day-of shopping)
  • 20 minutes shopping
  • 20 minutes unpacking (putting it all away)

Sample menu includes:

  • 2 types of fish with 2 days of leftovers
  • 2 days of soup and salad
  • 2 types of chicken with 2 days of leftovers
  • 1 day with tempeh
  • 2 days with ribs
  • This chart DOES NOT include veggies — only because I wanted to keep this chart simple to highlight a pattern.
  • Go here for a chart that includes veggies.
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Lunch chicken2-leftovers soup/salad fish1-leftovers chicken1-leftovers Tempeh-leftovers Soup/salad fish2-leftovers
Dinner fish1 chicken1 Tempeh Ribs-leftovers fish2 chicken2 Ribs

1) Planning:

    • I highly recommend that you create ONE WEEK of meals and then DUPLICATE that menu for the next 2 to 3 weeks.
      • The next week, you can follow the same meal plan, BUT — buy different fish, and different cuts of chicken, beef, meat, etc.
    • My menu plan DOES NOT include flavors, or cooking methods. Read more about this, here.
    • Use a SHOPPING TEMPLATE to organize your shopping trip. Lump all the dairy products in one area. Meats in another. Produce in another.
    • If you shop at more than one place, each of those stores ought to have their own template, their own list.
    • Throughout the week, as you notice something is running out — write it down. Craving something? write it down.
    • Know what is on sale before you go. Look online, at the weekly ad circulars.

2) Shopping:

  • What to wear:
    • First of all — leave your purse at home to avoid having to sanitize it when you get home.
    • Wear a jacket with pockets: for your phone, money, driver’s ID, insurance card.
    • Designate a pair of SHOES for shopping that are kept at your front door. Shoes that are easy to slip on/off. (Idea: put a disinfect spray bottle and paper towels at the door to wash off the bottom of the shoes.)
  • What to bring:
    • Disinfectant wipes, just in case your store does not have them.
    • While driving and shopping, I wear my lightweight driving gloves, and leave them in the car, in a ziplock baggie. This also helps avoid having to sanitize the driver’s wheel.
    • Extra bags. Put all of the bags inside one bag.
    • Your list — is it on your phone? …or written on a piece of paper.
    • When my list is long I have to see it on paper, and I put it on a clipboard, with a pen tied to it, and cross off the item once it goes into the cart.
  • At the store:
    • Get a disinfectant wipe BEFORE getting a cart.
    • Wipe down the cart’s handle and child seat area and put your bag of bags here. I do not wipe the rest of the cart, maybe I should. Instead, I follow the protocols that the MD shows in the video below of how to unpack once you are back at home.
    • Stay focused. DO NOT be distracted by the sale signs and colors and sounds. You are on a mission, stay on course.
    • Touch an item only if you will put it in your cart.
    • Use that same disinfectant wipe when you open the fridge/ freezer doors.
    • Shop the peripheral, stay away from the inside isles. You’ll make a big loop around the perimeter of the store and will be out in no time.
    • Shop the inside isles only 1 time every other month (or every 3 months if you have the pantry space).
  • At the checkout counter:
    • Always put heavy things in the bag first, at the bottom of the bag.
    • Pack the produce separately.
    • Do not touch the counter, or the pen, or the buttons, with your bare hands. If you need to, use that wipe first, or wear gloves. Or bring your own Stylus Pen.
    • Do not touch the receipt, the cashier can put it in a bag.
  • Back at the car:
    • Put all bags where no other people will be sitting.

3) Back at home