My Meal Plan for Two Weeks-How To!
This week, I decided I am jumping in, it is time do the meal planning! I see it in so many places and have actually been excited to try it.
The whole process of planning took me about an hour, although, I had done some things in advance to make it easier later.
Steps of How To Meal Plan
1.) Start by collecting recipes ahead of time!
- Gather recipes you know your family already loves and keep it in a binder. Not only are they in one easy to locate spot, but they are easy to page through.
- Make mental notes or write down meals that your family already loves! This way when you sit down, it is all right there and you are not having a “mental block.”
2.) Print out My Meal Planning Worksheet!
- My worksheet has enough room to plan two weeks worth of meals (1x/day)
3.) Pull our your recipe binder and PLAN!
- Write in any days you know you have things going on. For example, we currently have soccer on Thursday nights so I made a note on that day as a reminder. Busy Nights = Quick and Easy Meals
- Choose a leftover night…or two
- Put your “labor intense” or larger meals a night or two BEFORE leftover night. This way leftovers do not go to waste from not getting ate soon enough! And do yourself a favor-EAT LEFTOVERS!
- Try to put a slow cooker meal once a week. I choose a night I already know I am not going to want to make supper…because hey, I know me! It is sometimes helpful to put a reminder on the sheet such as “SC” to keep you ahead of the game.
- I like to keep my “veggie and fruit” section open so I can see what is on sale at the store
- Keep an -open- or -free- night on the worksheet. I am using this space to either go out to eat, get a pizza or do an easy kid-pleasing meal (even though I like chicken nuggets as much as the kids…). This spot could also be used for a week when you have a t
on of leftovers!
4.) Write down recipe ingredients on the back of the paper
- Write down only potentially needed ingredients! If you know you do not need salt and pepper, do not write it down, it just makes everything more overwhelming!
- Put a tally in front of the ingredients so you can easily see if you need 2 cans of green beans.-again, keep it easy.
5) Check your kitchen pantry, freezer, and fridge to see what you already have on hand. Cross things off your list you do not need or adjust your count.
6.) Make your final grocery list.
- Include all things off of your meal planning list
- Add any additional things to your list. Ex. Toilet Paper, soap, etc.
7.) Go Shopping!
- If you are really wanting to save money, plan your meals around your stores weekly sales. Pair sales with coupons for even better deals!
- Before I started meal planning, I cleaned out my pantry, freezer and fridge out quite a bit. I did this without a meal plan and just got creative(it was a little more stressful though).
- Do not allow yourself to go to the grocery store if you can help it. If you do, ONLY allow yourself to buy necessities such as milk.
- If you run out of an ingredient, improvise!! No Exceptions! Make a different meal, google how to substitute an ingredient.
- Have your family pick out a favorite meal or two to make it easier on you when it comes to planning.
- Keep a kitchen inventory to make planning go faster.
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