Let’s talk Meal Planning
It’s been a couple weeks since I join in with the Sunday Meal Plan Link-up, but I’ve decided to join back-up. Really, the only reason I hadn’t posted my meal plan in the last few weeks was laziness. Seamus and I always make a meal plan! It’s our way of attempting to save money and not worry about what we’ll eat each night of the week.
On Making a Meal Plan
As I flip through other blogs and even other bigger sites around the web, I am noticing what a hot topic meal planning is right now. It’s something that Seamus and I have been doing since we started shopping together 6 or so years ago, so it’s really nothing new to me. We haven’t always written it down, but, as with all things, time progresses and improvements are made. Our system works really well for us, and the bickering that used to occur when we’d meal plan, has pretty much ceased to exist.
It’s because of that, that I decided to share our method with you, in hopes that it will help someone else who is struggling to meal plan, or just doesn’t know quite how to get started.
Our Step by Step Meal Planning Process
- Make the Meal Plan when You are not in a Hurry – This might seem like a given, or maybe it doesn’t, but my biggest most important piece of advice is to NOT meal plan when you are in any kind of a hurry. That just leads to frustration and irritation when one or both of you can’t come up with ideas or are slightly distracted. Seamus and I do our meal planning Saturday evenings (we shop on Sundays), once Emmett is in bed. We’re not in any hurry and there are few distractions
- Choose a Meal Plan Template – There are SO many options out there for meal planners. Heck, if you just use google images, and search Meal Plan templates, thousands will come up. Flip through them, choose your favorite, but as your meal planning evolves, so might your template. So, don’t feel stressed if what you originally chose doesn’t continue to work. This is the link to the one we use, I am a fan of having the days of the week at the top and the meals on the side.
- Have a Few Standby Meals – Almost every week, we have one or two meals that we make. These are meals that are quick to throw together, and help to easily fill in the gaps on your empty menu.
- Try Out a Few New Recipes – Not every week, but almost every week, we try to find a new recipe to make. Sometimes these are wins, but sometimes they’re EPIC fails!! Either way, it helps to make meal planning go quicker.
- Plan For at Least 6 Meals – We always plan for 7 meals, but I recommend doing at least 6. This will allow you enough options to rotate, in case you don’t feel like eating something, or just don’t have the time.
- Don’t Assign a Specific Meal to a Specific Day – Our meal plan is very open – we have 7 meals chosen, but none of those are tied to a specific day, unless it’s a more complicated meal, and then it gets saved for weekends. We love having the flexibility to make whatever we want on whatever day we want.
- Make a Grocery List – Once you’ve made meal plan, the next step is putting all of the items that are needed in a list. I prefer using apps because then Seamus and I can sync them up. That way we can both add to the list, or delete as needed. Wunderlist is our current favorite for making all of our shopping lists!
- Be Consistent! I’m sure you won’t enjoy every moment of meal planning (though, some people do), but do it anyway. You are bound to save money, eat healthier and lose weight by default. And if one way doesn’t work, switch it up and try another. I promise you that after about 6 weeks of meal planning, it will be old hat and you will just do it.
Here’s our Meal Plan for this week!!
Monday: Steak, Chick Pea & Tomato Salad
Tuesday: Burgers in Romaine Lettuce & Cauliflower “Potato” Mash
Wednesday: Polish Sausage & Asparagus
Thursday: Fish Tacos
Friday: White Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Saturday: Chicken Shawarma
Sunday: Marinated Chicken and Corn on the Cobb
It’s a week full of tasty eats, that I cannot wait for!!
Have you ever meal planned? If you have, do you like it or loathe it?
What’s on your menu this week?
I’m linking up with Laura from Mommy, Run Fast! and Jill from jillconyers.com.
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