Have you ever tried weekly meal planning? My goal for this year was to actually meal plan and base my grocery shopping off of that plan. On the weeks that I actually follow through with my meal plans grocery shopping is a cinch and my overall stress level related to what I make for dinner is much lower. I’ve also noticed that our grocery bills are lower when I actually have a plan and am not buying everything that catches my eye as I walk down the aisle. On the weeks I slack off and don’t plan we end up having quesadillas and spaghetti every night. Meal planning is definitely worth it!
Whether you’re a master meal planner or have empty cupboards because you hate grocery shopping, keep reading to get some hints and ideas for weekly meal planning.
1. Spend time looking through recipes, whether they’re in cookbooks or on blogs, and save anything that looks good. It’s so much easier to meal plan if you have a large selection of recipes options.
via Rifle Paper Co.
2. Save recipes you like so you can put them in your rotation. Everyone has a different way of saving recipes, but I write out recipes I like and save them in this recipe box. I only write down recipes that have been approved by the whole family, so I know that every recipe in the box will be a hit.
3. Write down what you are going to make and on what days. You may want to check the weather so you aren’t making soup on a hot day before you start calendaring. I write my meal plan in my planner so it’s visible every time check my schedule. Don’t forget to leave a space for leftovers!
4. Create your shopping list and make sure you don’t buy things you already have. A few of my first grocery lists were pretty long, but once I purchased some basic kitchen staples, my lists have gotten significantly shorter.
5. Try to use recipes that repeat ingredients. That way you can use all the chicken broth or cilantro you bought and not end up having it rot in the back of your refrigerator.
6. Have a template to help focus your meal plans. Think about what you should be eating and factor that in. This makes it so much easier to know what to look for and I can cater the recipes to fit what my family likes to eat. My week goes like this -
Monday: Soup, Sandwich, or Salad
Wednesday: Mexican food
Thursday: Italian food or Asian
Do you meal plan? What are some of the tricks you’ve picked up to help you be successful? Any advice would be welcome!