There are many, many valuable reasons out there to create a meal plan every week. It saves you from making multiple trips to the grocery store, ensures that you don’t buy groceries you don’t need (which saves money and translates to less food waste), and also means that the “what are we having for dinner” thoughts at 5:00pm are eliminated. Which is one of the worst thoughts ever, don’t you think? It is definitely the thought that makes me lean towards going out or grabbing take-out on the way home.
I’m going to show you how I create my weekly meal plan and subsequent grocery list – I hope that you will share your tips if you are a meal planner, or if you aren’t, what is holding you back from being one!
Step One: create an outline of dinners:
- 1 new recipe (from a cookbook, pinterest, etc.)
- 1-2 simple: rotisserie chicken or some other similarly easy meal
- 1 fish
- 1-2 pasta night (or stir-fry, taco, pizza, crock pot, etc.)
- 1-2 open nights (for going out, take out, dinner with friends, etc.
*if you don’t plan specific veggies with the meals, be sure to pick up a few fresh and frozen vegetables for dinners
Step Two: create a list of the standard breakfast & lunches:
- eggs, cereal, oats, frozen waffles, toast, yogurt
- sandwich supplies, salads, frozen meals
I go really simple on the outline – no fancy paper or spreadsheet – just a sheet of paper so that it can be easily changed.
Step Three: create the shopping list. Be sure to include staples in your list (not having garlic for a recipe is horrifying)!
Step Four: go shopping, and do as much meal prep as you can ahead of time! Sometimes paying a little extra for vegetables that are already cleaned and ready to go can make a huge difference in how much time it will take to you prepare the meal. Or if you have time on the weekends, you can prep vegetables and make grains before the week gets busy.
Step Five: eat and enjoy your home cooked meals!
Do you plan out your meals every week? What does your process look like?