Wellness 23 days ago by Liz Adams

How To Create A Weekly Family Meal Plan + Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods Grocery Shopping Lists

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Today I’m sharing everything that is usually on our grocery list from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, plus our favorite weekday and weeknight recipes for the entire family! I’m also answering all of your questions about how often I shop, how we budget for grocery shopping, meal planning, and more. 

One of my most frequently asked questions lately has been about grocery shopping and family meal planning. I am definitely not a pro but I thought I would share what has worked best for our family and how we schedule our shopping and menus for the week! Hopefully it gives you some insight into better prepping meals for the entire family. 

Weekly Meal Planning 

In all honesty, I’m not the best meal planner but we are pretty consistent with the meals that we do make! For the most party my grocery list is pretty much the same every week aside from any new recipes I want to try. On Sunday I make a mental note of the types of dinners we will have, what days I’ll be home for lunch and the snacks we need for the kids. Our grocery list isn’t always this long every week, sometimes things last us longer than expected which is great but for the most part I’m purchasing the same produce/meat. Here is a example of a meal plan for the week:

Simple Weekly Meal Plans for Families

DINNER IDEAS:

Teriyaki Salmon filets + Asian salad
Healthy turkey taco nachos
Skinny chicken pot pie
Grilled steak with spinach salad
Turkey meatballs with sautéed veggies and marinara sauce
Roasted butternut squash with chicken sausage and pesto
Crock pot buffalo chicken lettuce wraps (seen on my IG Stories > Food)
Turkey burgers

LUNCH IDEAS:

Turkey lettuce wraps on romaine lettuce with mustard
Chopped salad – arugula, chopped salami, peppers, cucumber, chickpeas, mozzarella cheese + lemon vinagarette *we make this for dinner, too!
Mediterranean plate – hummus, rice crackers, veggies (carrots + cucumber), salami and olives
Breakfast bowl (I make this a lot!)
Cottage cheese, avocado, tomato, cucumber and tuna salad

NO-FAIL MEAL IDEAS FOR KIDS:

Two Ingredient Pancakes
Deconstructed turkey tacos with shredded cheese (no taco seasoning, just S+P)
Turkey and cheese roll ups
Turkey meatballs with noodles and marinara
Teriyaki salmon and cauliflower friend rice *Charlie LOVES this!
Turkey burgers

*other favorites that Charlie + Jack love – Pirate’s Booty, Veggie Straws, Babybel Cheese, Stonyfield Yogurt, bananas + peanut butter, cottage cheese with avocado, cucumbers with ranch dressing, frozen peas, Applegate beef hotdogs, cinnamon rice cakes.

FAVORITE WEEKNIGHT DINNER RECIPES:

Be sure to check out these previous posts for some of our all time favorite recipes!

 

FAVORITE WEEKDAY RECIPES:

Here are some more links to a couple of your past breakfast/lunch blog posts:

I’m going to share recipes for our favorite turkey burgers, chopped salad, crockpot buffalo chicken lettuce wraps + more soon! You can see snapshots of other recipes in my IG Stories > Food

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Grocery Lists

TRADER JOE’S SHOPPING LIST:

  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • pomegranate seeds
  • bananas
  • sweet potatoes x4
  • garlic
  • onion
  • cucumbers
  • broccoli
  • baby spinach
  • mixed greens
  • kale
  • string cheese
  • Babybel cheese
  • carrots
  • goat cheese
  • cauliflower fried rice (frozen section)
  • chicken cilantro mini wontons (frozen section)
  • frozen fruit (for smoothies)
  • frozen spinach (for smoothies)
  • canned chickpeas
  • giardineria
  • chicken stock
  • chicken sausage
  • salami
  • plantain chips
  • rice crackers
  • organic apple sauce pouches
  • coconut water
  • almond milk
  • organic whole milk
  • cooking spray
  • taco seasoning

 

WHOLE FOODS SHOPPING LIST:

  • grapes
  • lemons/limes
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • basil
  • mixed greens
  • arugula
  • mushrooms
  • random salad kits
  • small peppers
  • low sodium roasted turkey breast from deli
  • salmon filets
  • ground turkey
  • ground beef or flank steak
  • applegate chicken + maple breakfast sausages
  • applegate beef hotdogs
  • frozen waffles
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • eggs
  • pesto
  • olives
  • Cedar’s hummus
  • Stonyfield yogurt pouches
  • fresh almond butter
  • half & half
  • Califia Farms almond milk creamer
  • Rao’s marinara sauce
  • Pirate’s Booty (we like the individual bags)
  • Veggie Straws

*we also shop at Mariano’s for ranch dressing (Charlie’s favorite!), peanut butter, white bread for boys, olive oil, mac & cheese, orange juice and any other random purchases! Charlie is really into pop tarts right now, ha!

How We Budget & How Often We Grocery Shop

I wish I could say that I went to the grocery store once a week and was able to grab everything I needed but sadly that usually isn’t the case! Since we buy a lot of produce I usually split up our meals and pick up half of the produce we need later in the week (usually Sundays and Wednesdays). I try to at least plan for dinners so that our fresh items don’t go to waste. When detailing our grocery lists above, this isn’t a weekly list – just wanted to show you what I purchase from each store. For the most part – cheeses, eggs, condiments, yogurts, nut butters, creamers, snacks, soup stock, crackers and canned goods last for more than a week so the majority of my grocery list covers produce and meat/seafood. If I decide to try a new recipe there may be some random products mixed in there too. 

I personally love to cook and prepare meals for my family so to be honest we spend a good amount of money on groceries. I also try my best to eat 100% organic 85% of the time. That means the items we purchase tend to be a little more expensive than other products. Generally, I try to keep our weekly grocery budget between $250-$300 a week. Some weeks it is over and some weeks I’m under! Once a month we try to do a “clear the kitchen” week where we make what we have. Our weeks vary but I hope this is helpful!

Did I miss anything? My goal is to share a recipe a week on Hello Adams Family! If you have any must-try favorites please put a link in the comments! xoxo

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  1. I’m so jealous of the grocery stores you guys have in the US! I love Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s… wish they’d open in Hong Kong, haha! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. I’m also trying to plan ahead, with various results, and think it’s key to get through a weak without added stress. Surprised to see that your list doesn’t differ as much as expected from mine even though I’m swedish. One thing that strikes me though is the amount of plastic wrapping you have in your freezer. Plastics and the environment in general is a very hot topic in Sweden at the moment. Does’nt Whole Foods offer better solutions for packaging than this??? I personally use textile bags for my groceries and find it much better. Especially when it comes to keeping the veggies for a longer time.
    Love your blog!

  3. I’m also trying to plan ahead, with various results, and think it’s key to get through a weak without added stress. Surprised to see that your list doesn’t differ as much as expected from mine even though I’m swedish. One thing that strikes me though is the amount of plastic wrapping you have in your freezer. Plastics and the environment in general is a very hot topic in Sweden at the moment. Does’nt Whole Foods offer better solutions for packaging than this??? I personally use textile bags for my groceries and find it much better. Especially when it comes to keeping the veggies for a longer time.
    Love your blog!

  4. This makes me feel sooo much better about our budget. We try and make at least 4 meals a week from scratch and we do a lot of fresh and organic foods too. We generally shop at Costco for fruit because it’s cheaper and organic, Whole Foods for vegetables and meats and the rest we get at Trader Joe’s. I too wish I could shop at Whole Foods for everything but it’s just too expensive. We try and budget between 200 and 300 a week.

  5. Thank you for sharing! I was just talking to my girlfriends about meal planning and prepping, this is a great resource. I have to tell you that your arugula chopped salad has saved me, I love it and it works in a lunch or dinner pinch!

  6. I love this post, Liz! I also cook for a family of four (2.5 yo and almost 4yo). I am constantly questioning how much money I spend on groceries each week so this was very helpful. We have similar situations (mostly organic, family of 4, shop at WF and TJs). I’m planning to make your buffalo chicken lettuce wraps next week!

  7. Love this and also surprised we’re so aligned in the what our groceries lists and budgets look like! Your crock pot buffalo chicken recipe sounds like the perfect thing to eat this SuperBowl Sunday! Have you posted it before? (Looking it up right now) Thank you!