A big part of keeping cost down, minimizing time and upping your ability to stick to the plan… is, well, planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s actually pretty accurate… especially when it comes to converting to clean eating.

Thus far, we’ve toyed with cutting fast food, upping the water intake, cooking dinner every night (processed or not)… but now, it’s crunch time. It’s time to get down to business.

Before I hit the grocery, I make a chart like this for myself as well as my little one. I can see, visually, what we’ll be eating throughout the week. Some things will be consistent – like, for example, my daughter eats an apple and a pear for a snack each day, or she’ll eat some cereal for breakfast – and some things, like dinner, are very different each night… especially if you’re like me and you like to try any and every random recipe you get your hands on.

Then again, the problem with trying any and every recipe you can get your hands on, is the number of times you may wind up going back and forth to the grocery. Hence… why you plan in advance. You do a little recipe shopping, write down the ingredients you’ll need for each recipe on the back of your chart, go to your kitchen and cross off the things you have… and everything else? Well, that’s your shopping list for the week!

Meet your new best friend (downloadable PDF file).

Download and print off the chart, then plot out your week. Keep in mind portion sizes (and allowances), what your recipes call for as well as expected cost for each item. Don’t be afraid to scrap a recipe if the ingredients cost too much.

We’re going to spend this week talking about that grocery list and, while I won’t tell anyone what they should eat (beyond just tons of fruits and veggies, of course), I’ll definitely point out things to avoid. It’ll be a fun one, that’s for sure!