Today I am going to share with you some “nuggets” on how I meal plan. Before I get started, let me just say that I love meal planning and have been doing it for years. When I moved into my first apartment in college it was directly behind a Safeway. For the first month, each night my roommates and I would walk down to Safeway and get our dinner. Quickly this became annoying and we started to meal plan our dinners, lunches, and breakfasts. When Brandon and I first got married we lived on his farm which was 20 minutes away from a store. I learned quickly how to meal plan. Here is what I do…
- I have a notebook which sits right on my kitchen counter. As I run out of things (flour/counter spray/shampoo/anything) I jot it down on my list. I also write out little days of the week and as the week goes on, if someone (Maddi, Guy or Brandon) requests something for dinner I write it down for the next week (last week Guy requested hamburgers). As my week goes on, my list fills up.
- On Friday night or Saturday morning I decide on the rest of the meals for the upcoming week. I use several recipe books but these are some of my favorites that I use the most. I also check my Pintrest.
- Also, while I am deciding what dinners we would like for the upcoming week I look at my planner. I like to plan Crock Pot meals if I have meetings after work, or something easy for nights of activities.
- After I decide on dinners, I try to write down when I will need to thaw items such as meat for meals ahead. I write this down in my planner as well.
- I like to keep track of my meals in order to decrease repeat meals all the time. I keep log of meals in another spiral notebook (this was prior to my Life Planner). I like keeping these meal plans because I like looking back on what we ate and it gives me inspiration sometimes if I don’t know what I want to make for the week.
Some other tips that are helpful for me…
- I plan lunches and breakfasts. I get lunch meat, bread, breakfast material, and plan when my kiddos are eating hot lunch.
- I get my families input on what they would like to eat. I always ask what they would like for breakfast and lunches as well as dinner.
- I shop with a list.
- I look in my cupboards. Do I already have an ingredient? Does it need to be on my list?
- I shop my freezer. What meat do I have already? Sometimes this helps jar my memory, if I have ground turkey I will probably make something with tacos (salad, taco soup, etc).
- I write two grocery lists. One is my “sloppy copy” and the second is my “final list” which I re-write in the order in which I shop the store. Produce, meat, freezer, isles, dairy. Cleaning and beauty supplies last.
- I try to leave my husband and kids home because they always add more to the cart. Hahaha!
- I plan one or two desserts for the week (brownies, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, etc…) for the kiddos.
Do you meal plan? What tips would you give me? Am I missing anything? I love learning how others plan their meals and how they shop.
And in case you need some meal planning inspiration, you can always see what is on my menu each Sunday.
Linking today with The Blended Blog