Hello Friends! Today I thought we’d talk meal planning. I’ve always been a planner type and have been planning our meals in some way for years but probably only in the last 6-8 months have I been really good about being on it every single week. I’ve found what works for me and our home and really honed in on it so I figured it was a perfect time to share my tips and tricks! For me it all starts while eating breakfast or watching a show in the morning on Saturday or Sunday…
I don’t have any fancy tools or cute boards that I use, honestly I grab this notepad and pen which I’ve designated for meal planning lol – I don’t use them for anything else. So first I write out the days of the week on one side to fill in with meals, then I’ll use the other side to write out my grocery list based on the meals.
I’ll ask my husband if there is anything he has been craving so he has time to brainstorm while I browse my local Kroger grocery ad for any items on sale that might stand out to me to use in meals. I also check my coupons both digital and physical, this way I’m planning meals that will save us even more money! I ask for the input from hubby that way I’m planning things that sound good to him and we’ll be happier to eat during the week.
So now on to the actual meals…I start with the basis of knowing I want to make 2 dinners with chicken, 1 with beef, a no meat dinner, and a pasta entree (which is also typically meatless). We usually eat leftovers one night and we allow ourselves one night out a week too. This formula really helps me simplify everything and takes the thinking out of it. I don’t assign a certain meal to a certain day I just make sure we have enough for the week and then each night we can decide what we want to eat.
So I’ll fill in the meal plan with any requests and then I’ll quick flip through my planner for anything we haven’t eaten in a few weeks. Then I’ll check my browser since I often leave tabs open of anything I find from other bloggers that sounds good, and finally I check my Pinterest profile to fill in the remaining.
After I’ve got my meals planned out I’ll fill out my grocery list based on what we need to make those meals, plus any household items or snacks for lunches, etc. I write out my grocery list based on how I shop around our store…first is produce and deli/bakery, then on to cereal, meat, cheese & dairy, etc. By having my list set up this way I can easily go down the list and check things off and not have to read through the whole thing again and again. I also don’t end up criss-crossing back and forth across the store!
I do try to choose some meals that are really easy that way if we get home late in a frenzy we don’t have to think much. I also plan for most of our meals to have leftovers for each of us to take for lunch at work the next day. I believe meal planning has saved us time, money, and our health. I spend a few minutes each week pulling it all together for the week and making my grocery list. I plan around sales, coupons, and only buying what we actually need and will use for the week. Plus by meal planning I can be conscious of what we are eating so that it is healthier and it makes us less likely to take the easy route of eating out.
Do you meal plan? Or do you have any staple meals that you keep on hand to help with those nights that are just crazy?
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