Meal Planning is not for the faint of heart, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that you can’t teach yourself how to do. Like all planning methods, it takes creating a new habit. Which friends, is something that I could talk about for a long time, but that’s another Blog post all together.
What I can tell you is that according to Statista 42% of Americans try to meal plan a few days at a time, 29% plan out an entire week, and the other 29% just wing it day to day. What percentage do you fall into? I am the second set of Americans. I like to plan a full week at a time. So let’s talk about how I make that happen.
Two: Check the calendar. It is always so important to know what you have happening during the week. Are you going to have time to devote to fixing a meal? Do you need to pick a crockpot meal? Maybe this will be a left over day. It is imperative that you know what you have going on in order to effectively plan out your meals.
Three: We use a method called good old fashion popsicle sticks. We write our favorite, most loved, easiest to fix meals on popsicle sticks and store them in a cup on the counter. When it is meal planning time, we pick out four sticks, and depending on how busy the week is we fit those into the menu for the week. You could take it one step further and color code the sticks to help you determine the kind of protein you will be eating, but if you don’t have that ability just write your favorites down.
Four: Notice I mentioned that we only pick four sticks…. That’s because one night is our Date Night, where everyone gets to pick from their favorite restaurant and mom and dad head out for a night out, with food and fun, (for COVID we took over the living room and sent the kids to their side of the house for the night, we ordered in to support local restaurants in town). One day of the week is left over night, where we clean out all the stuff from the fridge that wasn’t eaten, before we grocery shop again for the upcoming week. And the last day, well that day we call Pinterest Roulette. We never know if it is going to be a Pinterest Fail or Pinterest Favorite. Basically we try a new recipe, that more often than not we have gotten from Pinterest. If it’s a Pinterest Favorite it gets added to the popsicle sticks. Pinterest Fail, I am sure you can guess that it gets round filed!
Meal Planning isn’t a science, or an art really, it is just about putting you and your family first. It saves you time, it saves money, it lessens waste, it can be a time of family bonding, and it will help you become a healthier version of yourself.