Every two weeks, I make my grocery list and head to the store. I create my list by planning out what I want to eat over two weeks. Some days are reserved for new recipes, and some days I just plan basic foods like hamburgers or grilled chicken. This gives me a balance in my budget so that I’m trying to new recipes on some days, but don’t have to buy special ingredients for every single meal. The example below shows how I organize myself while making my list. I write out each day, each meal, and fill in from there. My meals mostly consist of a main dish and 1-2 side dishes. Some weeks I’m craving vegetables, so I will make vegetable heavy meal ideas. Some weeks I’m on an Italian kick, so I will plan a bunch of Italian meals. For recipe ideas, I consult cookbooks, Pinterest, and other various sites to get the recipes I want. Majority of the time, I will find a few recipes to draw from, and mix and match from there. It’s very rare that I find a recipe that fits exactly what I’m looking for. To keep myself organized, I start with the first day and the first meal on my list. I figure out exactly I would like to make that day, for that meal, then write it in. Not every day of the week goes exactly as planned, but this system at least gives me something to go by. After I figure out what I would like to eat for each meal, I make a running list of ingredients that I don’t already have. These ingredients include any meats I need, special cheeses, or certain kinds of vegetables. I try to keep my kitchen stocked with the basic cooking ingredients. That way I have room to make new meals without running to the store before everyday. For a list of ingredients that are helpful to keep around your kitchen, please check back tomorrow!