Meal Planning and Shopping for Groceries

I usually do my meal planning for about the next week, but adapt continuously. Sometimes the amout of stuff you buy (packet sizes) are very different than the amounts you need for cooking (especially if you are cooking for one person), so it would be a waste to throw away meat, cheese or veggies because I’m just not using them. Unfortunately my freezer is really small, so if I am pressed to decide what to freeze and keep, and what to let go to waste, I usually choose

my meat to go into the freezer. This is definitely price-driven, because the price for organic meat and poultry is just out of this world!

One of my new year’s resolutions for 2021 is to try more new meals and incorporate them into my standard-cooking-repertoire. So I browsed all my cookbooks and Pinterest and assembled a 4 pages long list of meals to try and how to vary them, if there’s something in there that I don’t like (like capers or anchovies or mushrooms). Then I did a shortlisting for the first 9 days of the year.

As I live in a big city and have a lot of grocery shops in the area, I usually walk to get my groceries and I do that every other day. That way I can combine it with a short walk, and I usually don’t buy so much stuff that it diesn’t fit into my shopping tote (one my brother made for me from vintage 1970s fabric – I totally love it!!).
Before I go shopping, I make a detailled shopping list according to the planned meals for the next two days. While shopping I only allow myself one additional item – mostly it’s sweets or chips, because I got used to snacking unhealthily in the last months and hope to get over it that way.

Before making the shopping list for the next two days I go through the stuff that is still there from the days before. Then I go through the longlist of meals, if there is something on there with the ingredients I already have, and change the precise meal plan for the next few days accordingly. For example, tomorrow I planned on having avocado pasta, but instead it will be a tomato-cucumber-feta-salad, because I have tomatoes left from yesterday, and feta from today. Especially feta doesn’t keep that well, so I adapt my plan to not waste anything, but have something fresh anyways.

How do you handle the groceries? Do you buy for just yourself or for a family (I can imagine there are other challenges if you shop and cook for more than one person)?