My Experiment With Batch Cooking and The Happy Herbivore Meal Plans – The Shopping List


For the last several months my family has been ordering groceries from a local grocery store through an app.  It was pretty convenient because the app saved our most frequent purchases.  I could have groceries ordered in a matter of moments.  A day or two later I’d drive to the store where my whole order would be waiting for me to just load up in my van.  As a person who really detests grocery shopping this was heavenly.

However our very first week with the meal plans I knew I couldn’t order my groceries and have them ready in time for me to do this batch cooking thing.  So to the grocery store we went!  My whole family including my husband and all 4 children.  Yippee!!  I have to say, my kids are fine grocery shopping, it is Mom that has the fits!  That’s how much I despise this chore.

Here comes the kick in the gut.  Our grocery bill shot up $100!!!  There is some explanation.  First off, impulse shopping will get you every time!  There is none of that when you order over an app.  Plus we needed some rarely bought items, like that super huge box of garbage bags that costs an arm and leg!  Then there were definitely some spices and things that we didn’t have on hand that this plan called for.  I want to make it clear, I estimate the first week on the meal plan probably raised our grocery budget $30 dollars or so.

Shopping however was a breeze! Before we left I printed out all of the pages with the grocery list.  I went through my cupboards and crossed off anything we already had.  Since we knew we’d be doubling a lot of the recipes for our larger family I adjusted the quantity of many of the items we’d need.  Once in the store the shopping list is laid out via store section.  All of the produce is listed together, so are the things you’ll likely find in the ethnic isle, canned items are listed together, and so are breads etc.  I moved from one part of the store to the next checking things off with ease.  I have NEVER had a more put together shopping list!  This thing is all neat and color coded too.  I had a few people make comments about how “organized” I am or that I am obviously a “serious shopper.”

I give the shopping list a huge thumbs up!  My normal grocery store had everything we needed too.  No need to store hop.  All an all I was thrilled with that trip. Yes my grocery bill jumped! That was a shocker.  However, and I’ll touch on this more in future posts, we over did it a bit.  I discovered don’t need to double all of the recipes for my family.  Some I can up by maybe 1/4.  Some are fine as they are. Others just need an extra side dish.  We also now have a lot of the staple spices on hand so we won’t need to purchase those every week.  As you can see I am learning as I go!

My Experiment With Batch Cooking and The Happy Herbivore Meal Plans…a multi part series

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My family has been at this Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) way of eating for at least 3 and half years now. Switching up our diet was one of the better decisions we’ve ever made.  I talked about our reasons in a former blog post Why A Whole Foods Plant Based Diet a while back.  To sum it up for you I can say this… WFPB gives us greater health, more money in my pocket, it save’s God’s animal creatures, and it has a positive impact on the environment.  It feels a bit irresponsible to me to eat any other way.


All of that said I’m just like any other mom.  I’ve got four crazy kiddos, a hectic schedule, and more commitments than I probably should have.  I’m also not all that crazy about cooking.  My husband is the real chef of the family.  Our 7 year old son is following in his foot steps.  In our house it is usually my husband’s responsibility to do the meal planning, food shopping, and a good deal of the cooking.  Lately though it has made more sense for me to take on more of these responsibilities.  Evenings are simply easier if I can get dinner on the table as my husband is arriving home instead of sitting down to eat an hour later as is typical if he cooks.

The problem is that I’m not that great of a cook.  I just don’t have the experience.  Creating meal plans and shopping lists is time consuming and overwhelming for me because these are not things I’m used to doing.  Who has TIME for all of this!  Not me!  Set me loose in a grocery store and I’m likely to break the budget by hundreds of dollars and come home with nothing that we can actually make a meal out of.  That’s where The Happy Herbivore comes in. The Happy Herbivore, also known as Lindsay S. Nixon, is a fantastic lady and fabulous chef.   I love her cookbooks.  ALL OF THEM!  Which is ironic because cooking just isn’t that exciting to me.  My family has been using her recipes since we began our plant-based journey so I know her meals to be simple to make and totally delicious.  That makes me excited buy her meal plans.

Over the next several weeks I’ll share with you how these meal plans work, especially for someone like me who has limited grocery shopping and cooking experience.  We hope to cook most of a week’s worth of meals at once so cooking each night is a snap.  Plus then my hubby can lend me a hand.  Heading into this I have some goals.  I’d like to clean up our diet a little.  We aren’t perfect.  I’ve fallen back into a potato chip habit and we are using a lot more oil than we once did.  I’d like to see if we can shave our grocery budget a bit.  I’d like to try some new recipes as I feel like we’ve fallen into a bit of rut with our meals.  I also would love to finally understand the joy that others find in the kitchen.  That’d be amazing!