Some people love meal planning. Me? I do a really good job of it for periods of time and then burn out and fly by the seat of my pants the rest of the time. I’m the queen of “What on earth am I making for dinner tonight?” and then pulling something out of thin air.
But I recently found something that changed my life. Maybe I’m super behind the curve here (entirely possible!) but on the off chance there are other moms who struggle with meal planning, sitting down to make grocery lists and the like here is my life changer: A grocery list app.
I had always relied on the old-fashioned pen and paper method of making lists. This usually meant a mad scramble trying to figure out where my damn list went, me forgetting something I needed and then getting home to my husband saying, “Did you buy [insert item here that he didn’t write down on our whiteboard]?”
We finally installed the OurGroceries app after trying a few others that didn’t work, and we loved it so much that we pretty much bought the full version immediately. It lets you make and share lists with member of your household. We’ve got multiple lists going: grocery store, our wholesale store, Home Depot, Target and CVS. I’m able to easily add items to the lists, and then whoever is at the store can grab the items. You can categorize items too to help the shopper find an item easily (which is why I’ve got “gouda” listed in the produce section in the image above!). If I’m at CVS buying a birthday card and my husband has a prescription? As long as it’s on the list, I can know to take care of it while I’m there. While my husband was terrible at writing things on our dry erase board, he’s much better about throwing it on our app lists.
Plus, my favorite part and the true life-changer: You can add recipes to the app and then easily input the items on your various shopping lists. I spent about half an hour putting ingredients lists of our tried-and-true recipes on there, and it made our shopping so much easier. It not only helps with coming up with ideas for meals throughout the week, but also easily seeing which items you need to make that meal happen. This works especially great if you typically have most items on hand — think rice, quinoa, pasta — and just need a few fresh items to get a healthy meal on the table. I love having a big master list of dozens of recipes I know we love, and I can’t wait to add more to it. The whole thing is so obvious that I don’t know how I didn’t figure this out sooner!
Do you use a grocery list app? Tell me I’m not the only one who just figured this out. And if you haven’t used one yet, let me know if it changes your life too! —Erin