Meal Planning

How many people┬ádo meal planning? If you don’t and would like to learn a little bit about doing so then please continue reading. I have been doing meal planning for a very long time. I got tire of going to the store with no real direction in what I was going to do for food that week. I do not bulk buy (yet) or pre-make a bunch of meals for the week. I do meal prep lunch for my husband and I, but that will be in a separate post. Meal planning, honestly, can be boring and become quiet the chore. I will show you what I used to do and what I have been experimenting with lately. Meal planning not only saves me money, but saves me time at the store. I am not a fan of grocery shopping, so the less trips I have to make the better.

I do all the grocery shopping every two weeks with a small shopping run in between for those items that won’t make it without going bad; milk, fruit, fresh veggies. When preparing my list I would make a list of the meal that I wanted to cook that week and write it down at the top right of my grocery list so that I had my menu when I would go shopping in case I forgot why I put the ingredient on my list in the first place. This happens more than I would like to admit. So with having my menu it works as a nice reminder. Next I work down my menu writing out each item that I will need to prepare that dinner. After getting through the whole list I take inventory of the rest of the house on items that we have ran out of and add them to the bottom of the list. Then off to the store we go!

As great as all that sounds I have gotten tired of creating a list every two weeks and quiet simply over the whole idea. So I came up with a whole new idea. I decided to write down all the meals that I could think of that I didn’t need Pintrest or a recipe book to cook. This list was actually quite longer than I was expecting. I then took that list and broke it out in to two separate menus.

Each menu contains: 2 pasta meals, 2 Mexican meals, 2 meat and potato meals, 2 casseroles, 2 pizza nights, 2 sandwiches, and two blank night for going out or leftovers.

Below is an example of my two menus:meal-planning

After I figured out my menus I made grocery lists for each menu. I even made a notes area to add in those extra items that are needed out side of the groceries such as condiments, bathroom stuff. That kind of things.

Below is my shopping list for one of my Menus:shopping-listEven on this menu I add in the meals that I will be preparing so that I have some guidance again on what I will be making for the next two weeks. This has been great so far as I no longer have to come up with meals every time it is just there for me ready to print and take the store. I have thought about laminating my lists so I can just reuse them each time; print on both sides and switch back and forth. I have started to create a 3rd menu because sometimes you forget about other meals that you know how to make simply because they are second nature to you. So until that list gets big enough I will continue with the two that I have already created.

Thanks for reading through this. If you have any questions or would like more information let me know!!

Chrissy