Why Meal Plan?
I don’t know about you, but I find a couple of things are true about meal planning. 1. I hate stopping to do it. 2. It is absolutely necessary to keep me from eating junky shit all week. To that end, I’ve developed a super fast way of meal planning (that also speeds up the grocery run!) and I’d like to share it with you ladies.
I use a super easy meal plan template and my recipe book for planning. Let’s get started:
Since my template already has the days of the week listed out, I just need to decide what days to eat what.
I use my dirty white binder for this. It’s a simple binder from WalMart filled with those cheap page protectors. Each page protector holds one or two recipes. They are sort of organized, but in a very loose way. Soups and such (which I rarely make) in the front, healthy-ish meals in the middle, then the bad stuff I only cook for holidays in the back. (Stay tuned for a menu binder re-vamp in and how-to the very near future!)
Meal Planning Hacks:
One trick I use a lot is to make a crock-pot meal early in the week, then follow up later in the week with a re-work of that meal. For instance, I might make Green Chile Shredded Beef on Monday in the crock pot. Then Thursday, I’ll use those left overs for enchiladas. Two meals down.
Another way to make meal planning simpler is to have days during the week that you eat the same thing. Like Taco Tuesday. For us, that day is usually Friday. We get take out from our local Mexican restaurant. Boom. Another day down.
We also usually eat Subway one day a week. Slap that down there on Wednesday, let’s say. Saturday night is date night, and we normally eat out. Another day gone.
Now, instead of 7 days to plan, we are down to 4. Much more manageable. Also, since we know we are having beef Monday, and enchiladas on Thursday, we can move on to our last two days. Here I’ll just look for meals we haven’t had in the last couple of weeks. It’s a lot easier to make a decision when you’ve only got two days to do instead of 7. When I’ve got all my meals laid out, I simply fill in the missing ingredients on the list portion of the template. It’s time for the grocery run.
The Grocery Run:
You’ll notice the layout of the template lists the sections of the store below the meal plan itself. It’s a custom layout to match the layout of my store. I shop at a rural WalMart. I start in the “Dairy” section, because that’s where I start shopping in the physical store. There I get eggs, milk, tea, washing powder. All those things are at the far back right hand corner. Next we move to “Meat”, because that’s what comes up next in the physical store. Does that make sense? I just start in the back of the store and follow my grocery list to all the way to the produce section. The idea here is to start at one end and make one trip through the store getting closer to checkout all the time. By the time I’ve hit produce, I’ve gotten everything else I need and it’s time to pay. This cuts down on the number of cross-store trips me and my buggy have to make.
I’ve made two templates for you as well. One that’s filled out like my store, and one that’s blank so that you can fill it out to match the layout of your store. I hope this provides you with some meal planning inspiration and makes your next grocery trip faster and easier.
How Do You Get My Template?
Not a blog follower? Download your free meal plan template by signing up for email here.
Already here? Download your free meal plan using the password in your email here.
Need some recipe ideas? Follow my board here.
Need some Whole30 recipes? Follow this one.
Are you an athlete? Try these.
Prefer Vegan? Go here.
REALLY REALLY bad for you food? But sooooo gooood.
I’d love to hear how you do your meal planning? Is it quick and easy, or a struggle each week?
Thanks so much for stopping by!!