One of the areas that I help my clients with is working with them to understand the importance of planning your meals before writing your shopping list. Planning a weekly menu not only reduces the time and money you spend on food by reducing waste and spoilage, it also gives you control over what goes into each meal you prepare.
One trick I use from all my years managing restaurants is to write a weekly feature card displaying the meals for the week. Once I have the feature card done the grocery list almost writes itself. Just look in the freezer, refrigerator and pantry to see what items are missing to complete your favorite recipes. This will significantly simplify your ordering process so that you can do your grocery shopping in just minutes!
Another tip I recommend is to post the feature card on the refrigerator so the first person home knows the plan and can help get dinner started.
One more note: Get the whole family involved in preparing the meal. This does so many positive things. Your kids learn how to cook. Cooking uses both sides of their brain; there is math, measurements, chemistry, planning, organization, life skills and plenty of room to be creative. Cooking helps encourage a willingness to try new foods and builds self confidence and a sense of pride when you sit down as a family at the table to share the meal you prepared together.
So bring in your tubs of groceries and gather the family and start cooking!