Eating primarily organic, grass-fed, cage-free, etc is not exactly cheap. And trying to cook from scratch using whole food ingredients takes time, so when I went back to work after a wonderful, leisurely summer home with our 18 month old, continuing to eat in the style we've enjoyed seemed a little daunting. After finding several blogs about once-a-month cooking and talking old-school with my parents and in-laws, I decided I'd give weekly meal planning a try.
First, I had to find the perfect app (of course!) to make this endeavor work. Enter Pepperplate. I LOVE this program. I can enter my own recipes or import from many websites. I can sort the recipes as I wish. Then I can create weekly, monthly, yearly meal plans by pulling in the recipes. Then (this is the best part) I can just add recipes to my shopping list. Finally, I can add any other random items to that list. And my shopping list is done for the week.
This has been a huge time saver for me. I used to find myself deciding during my lunch what I wanted to eat for supper. Then I would have to run to the grocery store after work several times a week, cutting into my precious walking time with the dog. Now, I go to the grocery store once a week. I don't find myself impulsively buying extra things we won't eat just because I'm there. And I can prep anything I need for the next day's meal the night before, leaving me more time to play with my son, talk with my husband, and slow the pace of life down.
Organic has finally become quick, easy, and more affordable.