Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Five Do's of Menu Planning


This is an example of what shouldn't happen after a trip to the grocery store. This is how my week generally went before I started meal planning, except it wasn't just after a trip to the grocery store...it was every day! When I went grocery shopping I would walk up and down the aisles of the store, looking at everything that looked tasty or I thought I would want to cook that week and buy it. I would set out to cook the next day, but had no idea what I wanted to cook so I wouldn't. We would end up going to getting take out from Chipotle, Outback, or Pei Wei...just to name a few. I've been menu planning now for 4 weeks, and I am so glad that I am. Yes, there are those days that I can't physically take one more step--fitbit begs to differ--and we eat out, but generally we

1. Plan a Day in Advance

Don't try and menu plan and go shopping all in one day. You will be tired and you won't want to make dinner that night! I generally do my planning on Sunday afternoon and go shopping right after stroller strides on Monday morning. If you are a coupon clipper this gives you time to clip coupons too!

2. Go Through Your Pantry and See What You Already Have

I am completely bothered by the fact when I buy something that I already have. I'm not want to buy in surplus, so buying an extra can of cream of mushroom soup, just bothers me. A seasoning list is always helpful in or near your pantry that way you aren't purchasing garlic salt every time it's in a recipe! 

3. If You Skip a Meal Add it to the Next Week

You already have the stuff for the recipe, might as well cook it up! There are many times I have to skip because I am busy, adding it to the next week is easy and I already purchased the stuff. 

4. Use PlanToEat 

I get almost all of my recipes from Pinterest or various blogs throughout the week. I have a widget on my browser that allows me to add the recipe directly to Plantoeat instead of saving somewhere in my bookmarks or Food Board only to forget about it in a week. With Plan to Eat the recipe is added there and you can add it to your planner, it then adds it to a grocery list. (I will do a tutorial on this soon!--Hoping to VLOG about it)

5. Plan Out Your Sides

I can't tell you how many times I have purchased everything I needed for my meals for that week, only to not have any sides to go with my main course. Then Nic ends up stopping on the way home to pick something up, and generally grabs something for us to have for snack on later...definitely not needed! Click on the link below for a Menu Plan print out!



I hope this helps you with your menu planning next week, and make sure to link up with orgjunkie for Menu Plan Monday! 



Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat
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34 comments:

  1. These tips are perfect for meal planning. I love that printable too! I am a huge meal planner fan!

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    1. Thanks! It's not to have it written on paper sometimes instead of all on the computer!

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  2. I've never heard of PlanToEat...I'll have to check it out. I've never meal planned, but I've always wanted to. The reason I haven't is because...how do you plan for leftovers? What do you do?

    And that's funny you're not a surplus shopper...I sure am! I come from a large family so stocking up is in my blood. ;) If I have less than 6 of something, I start freaking out! haha Stopping by from the Shine Blog Hop!

    -Jess
    Sweet Little Ones

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    1. I generally make enough to feed us that night and send my husband some in his lunch. I generally don't eat the leftovers, and eat a light lunch. Right now we have like 30 rolls of toilet paper and it's killing me that it is taking up so much room. (Forgot we had some and bought more) HAHA

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  3. I need to be better at it… I need to get my self together.. I try to do it then something comes up…
    Happy Thursday Chelsea @ thewilliamsjourney1.blogspot.com

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    1. Yeah and grocery shopping has to happen so you just go with your gut on what you think you might need. It does take a bit of time to get used to it, but saves time and money in the long run.

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  4. Menu planning is great. These tips are excellent. I am a big planner! I even made a price comparison notebook.

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    1. That's awesome! What does your price comparison notebook have in it?

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  5. I love menu planning and once I switched to menu planning (about 3 years ago), I had reduced our grocery bill dramatically.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. Oh definitely! I budget to spend about $80-90 a week on groceries, before it was like $120.

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  6. great tips!! You save so much this way!! I'm better some weeks than others.

    XO sarita it's my girls' world

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  7. I am SO back at getting to the grocery store and when I finally do the food sits in my house b/c I'm out so much I don't get to eat it. Haha. I need to be better about meal planning.

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    1. We were like that before we had our little one. Now I don't want to go anywhere in the evening except for the weekend and just relax!

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  8. Totally just made up our meal plan for next week and got on Publix.com to make my grocery list! Of course, I'll cross out anything from the list that I've already got in the pantry, but you're so right! You have got to plan ahead or it just won't work! I'm trying my best to avoid multiple grocery shopping trips in a week and buying fast food instead! Thanks for the tips!

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    1. I used to be the person that stopped on the way home at the grocery store after work. It's so nice to have everything already for the week, plus saves you money not buying stuff that isn't needed.

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  9. I so needed this! Thank you for kick starting my meal organization!

    Xoxo,
    Whitney & Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

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  10. Linking up from #thoughtsforthursday Thanks for sharing this post. You have to plan at least a day before. I always go through my pantry to check and see what I have so I don't buy doubles. Another thing, never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Another thing I forget to put in my grocery shopping lists are lunches and breakfast, when I get there I just grab things for those items. I need to practice this a little more

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    1. I generally eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day, so planning for it would kind of be boring, haha. I solve the hunger issue by getting a bag of popcorn at the Target cafe before starting!

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  11. Great minds think alike :) Love the tip to plan sides, too - I'm always so bad at that part!

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    1. haha, I forget sides at least twice a week.

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  12. Totally checking out PlanToEat. I'm not quite as structured as you are with my meal planning but I agree that having a plan makes it all happen!

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    1. Love that website! It makes planning my meals so much easier!

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  13. We were just like that picture for a while!! Sometimes I would literally come home from the stores with tons of meal options but be too tired to get off the couch!! I usually plan a whole week at a time. Plan to Eat sounds awesome because I usually find my recipes the same way.. definitely looking into that!

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    1. Definitely check it out! It's super easy to use, and saves a lot of time!

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  14. I've been meal planning for about a year now but just keep rotating the same meals so need to spice it up a bit. PlanToEat looks great - need to check it out more. I keep adding recipes to pinterest and then forgetting about them!

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  15. Great list. I keep trying to find the inspiration to get better at this!

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  16. Great tips! Meal planning has saved me money and my sanity :-)

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  17. Great tips! Meal planning has saved me money and my sanity :-)

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  18. Thank you for these tips! It is sometimes so overwhelming if we don't think ahead! Thank you!

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  19. Great tips! I love the meme. Done that so many times. =)

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  20. Great tips! I can't imagine my life without meal planning! I use the app called Paprika and that and Pinterest changed our lives a few year back! I do all my meal planning, recipe saving and grocery lists right in there! So wonderful to have all these tools eh?!

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  21. I've never been a meal planner but I want to start because I know it will help tremendously. These are great tips & I will put them to use!

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