Grocery Shopping like a Nerd

Inspired by Tiffany’s post last week, I thought I’d share my OCD grocery shopping and meal planning tactics.

Meal Planning

(from top left: Shakshouka, Strawberry Balsamic Pizza, Curried Cauliflower and Chickpeas
with Grains
, Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos, White Pizza Lasagna,
Zucchini Cakes, and Double Bean Quesadillas)

Every Wednesday our ads for HEB (local grocery store) and Sprouts Farmer’s Market come in the mail. I sit down and comb each page of the ads, making a list of everything on sale.


Then I make a list of everything in our pantry and fridge. I try to choose recipes where a majority of the ingredients are already in our kitchen since it’s more cost effective.


Next I hop on the internet machine and hunt down some recipes. Lately I’ve become borderline obsessed with Jessica from How Sweet Eats and many of the meals on our list this week are straight from her archives. Melissa raved about a Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea recipe she made recently so that made it’s way onto the list as well. I try to have between 5-7 meals planned out; this will get us through about a week and a half since most recipes have plenty of leftovers.

Then I make ANOTHER LIST with all of the meals on the left and their respective ingredients on the right.


From this list, I make my final grocery list which has HEB on one side and Sprouts on the other. Each side is also divided up by aisle. Yes, I have issues. But you’d be surprised how fast I can get in and out of a grocery store. So don’t judge.


Sprouts is at about the halfway mark in my commute so I’ll stop there on Friday on my way home from work. Once I get home and put the groceries away, Brad and I head to HEB for Round 2. Shopping on Friday night around 6pm preserves your sanity considering most of the city is out having happy hour cocktails or kicking off date night. We’re home no later than 7 and then the weekend can officially begin!

Tell me your best grocery shopping and/or meal planning tip.

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  1. Thank for including my recipe!! 🙂
    Alicia recently posted…Summer Movie {Wish List}My Profile

  2. I have similarly dorky grocery shopping habits, but I think I may need to add some of your neuroses to my routine. So smart, lady! You will lovvvvvve the cauliflower dish–I’m making it again tonight!
    Melissa recently posted…Currently.My Profile

  3. I might have to pretend I didn’t read this post. hahaha, that is some serious OCD going on.

    Sometimes I write down that we need milk and eggs so I don’t forget it, but basically, I show up at the grocery store and hope I pass everything I need as I walk down each aisle quickly. Then I get pissed when I get home because I forgot the one thing I’ve been reminding myself all week to get.

    I might be more OCD about cleaning. That gets ugly around these parts.
    Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run recently posted…How to Depress Yourself in 90 MinutesMy Profile

    • We used to go shopping without a plan. Then we’d spend $100, come home, and be like “what’s for dinner?” And then end up ordering pizza because we didn’t get anything to cook actual meals. So now I have to make a list 🙂

      The cleaning OCD is Brad’s department, right down to making sure our towels are stacked properly in alternating colors in the cabinet!

  4. I’m such an obsessive meal planner! I should totes send you my Google spreadsheet/document that I made for shopping, pretty much with the isles broken down like your list. I also agree with Friday night shopping, it’s the best time. Sunday mornings are good too.
    Steph @ Steph Runs On recently posted…Five Things FridayMy Profile

  5. I have a similar structure although I will tell you if I walk into a Wegman’s it flies right out the door. 🙂 Everything there looks so delicious that I have trouble focusing ha! I have only recently started to dred grocery shopping since the TJ’s I frequent is packed all the freaking time.

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    esmeralda spalding recently posted…esmeralda spaldingMy Profile

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