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Meal Plan and Grocery List

by Dana Bean, RD

Do you want to make most meals at home, but don’t have the time to go grocery shopping multiple times a week? Love tasty dinners, but struggle to plan them out? This meal plan and grocery list takes care of all the prep work for you. Less decision fatigue, less time thinking of food ideas, and more time actually enjoying them!

As a registered dietitian, the type of meal plans I make with my clients are usually flexible meal plans. This means we will figure out the logistics of what meals are happening that week so that you’re equipped going into the grocery store. Then the “when” of each meal is up to your schedule and what you’re looking forward to that day. It takes some of the typical strictness out of the meal plan while also making sure you’re prepared ahead of time.

You don’t have to have a meal plan, but it does make things run 1000x smoother IMO. Flexible meal plans help to ensure that you’re getting fueled regularly and can help prevent binging or eating past fullness later on. It adds some structure to food to ensure that you don’t go undernourished (and lacking energy, mental clarity, etc…)

Plus having a meal plan and grocery list can help save time in the long run and can really cut down on the hangry “what do we have for dinner!?” moments.

The flexible meal plan helps us build the grocery list. Looking at the recipes lets us know the exact ingredients we will need. This can save time and money when we’re shopping!

I definitely recommend organizing your grocery list by section of the store (like the sample below) so you can make sure you get everything and aren’t tracing and retracing your steps while shopping (can you tell I need all the time saving techniques I can get??)

This general sample meal plan includes meals and snacks for 1 week! I want to stress that this is a general option to get an idea of how to structure your flexible meal plan and what to possibly include. You’ll likely need to/want to make changes based on your preferences and needs. I also do not include portion sizes for meals because this will definitely vary by individual and hunger levels (that can vary day to day)

For both breakfast and lunch, it makes it easier if we don’t something new every single day. So I usually like to stick to 2-3 options to choose from!

  1. Breakfast Sandwich + Raspberries (English muffin, egg, cheese, sausage or turkey sausage, avocado, spinach)
  2. Yogurt + Peanut Butter Granola + Banana + Berries
soft peanut butter granola in yogurt parfait with fruit
Peanut Butter Granola (No Bake)
  1. Sauteed Chickpea Pita
  2. Tuna Salad with Vegetables Sandwich + Carrot Sticks
  3. Leftovers from dinners! (The Black Bean Enchiladas, Deconstructed Bell Peppers, and Slow Cooker Chicken make especially great leftovers!)
seasoned chickpea pita close up on wood cutting board.
Seasoned Chickpea Pita

I usually plan 5-6 dinners assuming some nights you will be eating out or leftovers. I also want to make sure I’m realistic with the amount of dinners that take longer to make with how your week looks! But these recipes are all relatively quick.

  1. Black Bean Enchiladas + Pico De Gallo
  2. Veggie Yakisoba + Crispy Tofu
  3. Deconstructed Stuffed Bell Peppers
  4. Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos (with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sauteed onion & bell pepper)
  5. Caesar Pasta Salad
  6. Chimichurri Salmon + Airy Fryer Red Potatoes + Roasted Asparagus
deconstructed stuffed peppers in skillet with bell peppers in background.
Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

You can of course get more snacks than this, but I find it helpful to prep for a few in case you need some ideas! You may also want to take into consideration if you’ll be on the go, have access to a fridge, etc…

  1. Carrot sticks + Cucumber + Hummus + Crackers
  2. Banana Berry Smoothie + Granola bar
berry smoothie with banana on wood cutting board with bananas and blueberries in the background.
Berry Smoothie with Banana

This is a complete and comprehensive shopping list for the meals above. This means you likely won’t need to buy EVERYTHING on this list when you go grocery shopping if you have anything in your kitchen. For example you might already have salt, oil, milk, etc… Use this list as a start and cross off any items you already have. Then you’re ready to shop!

If you need more than 1 unit (like a package) or if you need to know ounces, it’s indicated with the item.

  • Raspberries
  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Caesar Salad Kit
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Red Bell Pepper (5)
  • Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper (2)
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Carrot Sticks
  • White Onion
  • Yellow Onion
  • Shallot
  • Roma Tomatoes (2)
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Snap Peas
  • Red Potatoes 2 lbs
  • Minced Garlic
  • Minced Ginger
  • Extra Firm Tofu (This is usually in the produce fridge section)
  • Yakisoba noodles 18 oz (also usually in the produce fridge section for some reason!)

*If your grocery store doesn’t have a bulk bin section, add these items to the dry/canned section

  • Rolled Oats (2 cups)
  • Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup)
  • Sliced Almonds (1/2 cup)
  • Turmeric (1 tsp)
  • Dried Rosemary (1 tsp)
  • Flour (All Purpose, 1 Tbsp)
  • Sesame seeds (optional, 1 tsp)
  • Rice (about 1.5 cups)
  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Turkey Sausage/Regular Sausage Patties
  • Tzatziki Sauce (premade, usually near other dips)
  • Hummus
  • Ground Turkey 1lb
  • Chicken Breasts (4)
  • Frozen Salmon Fillets (4 -4 oz each) *These could be in the meat freezer or regular frozen section
  • Eggs
  • Sliced or Brick Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Feta Cheese
  • Shredded Cheese (3 cups)
  • Butter
  • Edamame
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Garlic Powder
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey
  • Chickpeas (1 can)
  • Black Beans (3 cans)
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Mayo
  • Tuna
  • Chicken or Veggie Broth
  • Diced Green Chiles (4 oz can)
  • Olives (2.25 oz can)
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • Tomato Sauce (8 oz)
  • Salsa (16 oz) *you could also get fresh instead
  • Pasta 1/2 lb
  • Caesar Salad Dressing (optional)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Granola bars (I love the Kind Breakfast Bars!)
  • Crackers
  • English Muffins
  • Pita
  • Golden Blend Tortillas (10)
  • Wheat Tortillas

Don’t forget to add a few things to your list!

  • Any extra items you’ll want for snacks/dessert (I almost always add chocolate to my list!)
  • Any items you’ll need if you’re making a change to a meal based on preference
  • Any household items you need (paper towels?)

This meal plan and grocery list isn’t meant to be used exactly week after week! You’ll want to switch it up with different meals and food items.

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