When I moved to weekly meal planning, it was mainly to get my husband more engaged in the kitchen. He’s not an “ideas guy” and when I was working late, it meant that everyone was HANGRY all the time! Not fun. There was a good number of months were popcorn made a regular appearance as our dinner entree. Popcorn – so delicious – it’s healthy right? Ummm, maybe not everyday?!
So, to turn that around, we started meal planning. It definitely takes some extra work at the beginning of the week, but it was so worth it! Dinner started being prepped earlier since everyone knew what to make. I was anticipating dinner without the stress of debating what to make tonight, AND we saved $10-20/week on groceries. Plus, that bunch of cilantro that normally rots into a disgusting juice in your fridge? That will happen no more, cause you can plan to use it all up!
Enter the chalkboard….
Our friends often tease us as my type-A personality is evident with the chalkboard stating our meals and plans of the week. But, it’s really helpful…. I swear! So each week I plan out what’s happening and then choose meals accordingly. At first I would ask myself questions like:
- Are we going to be rushing off somewhere?
- Will I be making this meal or my husband?
- How can I balance vegetarian meals, fish dishes, and meats?
And then as that got easier with time, I now have started to consider things like:
- If I buy cilantro for this recipe, what else can I make to use it up?
- If I make quinoa on Monday, I can make extra for Tuesday to save time….
- Can I prep something in the morning to make dinner easier?
- What’s the weather like this week? Will I want soups and stews, or salads and BBQ?
Of course, it doesn’t get followed to a T, cause life happens and sometimes you just need to go get some treats with your girls – but for the most part, it’s been awesome.
So give it a go! Happy planning.