10 In wellness

Do you meal plan?

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If I had unlimited money one of the many things I would do would be stop cooking. Yes, I know that’s probably really bad. But in all honesty, I not only dislike cooking at home, I also tend to eat healthier when I’m eating out. That being said, I do not have unlimited money, so cooking at home is something I’m stuck with doing. I’ve realized that one way to make that whole deal go a bit smoother (and minimize food waste and last-minute takeout orders) is to start meal planning.

To make meal planning easier and prettier—because I do really love being surrounded by things that are both functional and well designed—I ordered this beautiful meal-planning notepad from Jack and Ella Paper and I’m already loving it.

In addition to using this new notepad (and hanging it up near the fridge so I remember why I got all the groceries I got), I also rely on Pinterest and some select cookbooks to keep track of recipes to make. Whenever I’m stumped, I just open them up to get inspired.

Are you a meal-planner? How do you make it easier and more fun?

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeanette @ This Dusty House
    August 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve been practicing meal planning this month. We realized that we’ve been spending waaaaay too much on food so we’re trying to cut out all dinners out and take out, while also ensuring that we’re actually eating the food we buy. But, it’s hard! I have a weekly calendar in the kitchen to help me keep track and I’ve been blogging about it a bit to keep myself accountable. The notepad is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Catherine Short
    August 11, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I enjoy cooking and even grocery shopping, but I’m still not the best at meal planning. Our lives flux a lot each week, so getting too set in stone with meals isn’t always helpful. I just try to keep certain things on hand, so I always have go-to meals. We eat most meals at home, but because I try to make enough for leftovers I only have to cook 2-3 meals a week.

  • Reply
    Courtney
    August 12, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Yes I meal plan. I grocery shop on Sundays. First I make a list of the dinners I want to eat. I usually plan Sunday-Thursday leaving Friday and Saturday free to eat out or get takeout. Then I write out all the ingredients I need from the store. Like you, I need to be reminded of what meals I have ingredients for so I just post the weekly menu on the fridge. It greatly reduces the amount of money spent on food for the week and I tend to eat way healthier when cooking at home. Pinterest and magazines are the best for recipes!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    August 12, 2015 at 4:34 am

    What a gorgeous notepad! I usually meal-plan most weeks because I am a chronic over-shopper at the grocery store and having a plan helps me stick to what I NEED…mostly. ;) I keep a “meals” file in the Paperless app on my phone and use that for listing out our meals, and then another file for a grocery list. It’s crazy though how hard it can be to pick what to make for a meal…that’s always the hardest part of the cooking process for me!

  • Reply
    Jennifer H
    August 12, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I find that I’m good at meal planning dinners but terrible at planning lunches! My husband ends up grabbing lunch to-go most days of the week because of it. I would like to get better at that!

  • Reply
    jessica bates
    August 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Natalie…thanks so much for sharing the notepad! Even though I enjoy cooking, when it’s something you have to do day in and day out, it can get to be a chore. A couple of things that help with meal planning for me are to do it when you’re hungry, it’s almost enjoyable to search for new recipes to try (while mixing in your regular rotations). Looking through Pinterest or Cooking Light is not much fun after you’ve eaten. I’ve also found the cookbook, How to Cook Without a Book (http://www.amazon.com/How-Cook-Without-Book-Techniques/dp/0767902793) to be very helpful. It actually has no pictures in it (which usually is a big turn-off for me) but it has techniques with lots of variations (think sautéed chicken breasts with lots of pan sauce options). It’s one of my go-to books. One other thing is to find dinner inspirations in catalogs such as Williams-Sonoma. You do not have to run in and buy their $18 marinara sauce, but it’s a great source to inspire dinner ideas. Thanks again and I hope you love your notepad :)

  • Reply
    nicole
    August 12, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Love meal planning! It saves us money and definitely helps me to eat healthier! I started using a crockpot to make veggie soups that yield a lot of meals! Clean Eating mag has a “Budget Issue” this month that has loads of ideas for meal-prepping and planning! Check it out : ) healthy & cheap = yes please!

  • Reply
    Alys | A Girl Who Reads
    August 13, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Totally with you on the personal chef if I had endless money (I would probably also get a driver because I hate driving in the city)

    Your comment about putting it up near the fridge to remember why you got things really resonates with me – I have a great time at the market getting fruit/veg and then I get home and have no idea what I intended to do with things. It can lead to a lot more waste than necessary.

  • Reply
    Victoria B
    August 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Yes I meal plan. It took me a while to learn how, but now it has helped me enjoy cooking as I know I have what I need and I don’t have to decide what to eat when I’m hungry and need something NOW. Plus, my husband usually cooks twice a week and this way I can get him what he needs and I can help him prep it the night before, anything to make it easier for him. I typically try to plan leftovers for lunches, but if all else fails, I have sandwich/salad ingredients on hand to throw together. It makes grocery shopping quicker too, so it’s just a win-win!

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