Weekly Meal Planning for Real People.

by Kristin on January 29, 2013

 

Let’s be honest here. Weekly menu planning sounds super intimidating. Also, I am fickle and often change my mind last minute about what I want for supper. Or, often I am running late in the mornings and don’t have time to put that “super easy” meal in the crock pot. Or, I am too lazy tired to cook when I get home.

Does this sound like you? I thought so.

                                 Source: afarmgirlsdabbles.com via Kristin on Pinterest

For the longest time I was anti-weekly meal planning for all of the reasons above. So I just stocked up normal stuff at the store each week, and only rarely, did a decent meal come out of that weekly haul.  Sure, I am creative in the kitchen, but how creative can you be if you only buy the exact same things each week? So after a while it just turned into “eat whatever for dinner” at our apartment, and that usually didn’t end well.

                                                   Source: picky-palate.com via Kristin on Pinterest

This year, as part of my “getting my life together” schtick, I resolved to be better at planning out meals and cooking on the regular. 1) Because I love to cook, 2) Because I love being OCD and in control of my week, 3) I’m trying to eliminate snacking after work and immediately putting a dinner plan in motion seems to do the trick, and 4) Most importantly – the boyfriend whom I live with will eat junk if I don’t make something good for him.

Pinterest really makes meal planning super easy and fun. So in an effort to outline how I have tackled this task, I will present it to you in list form.

                                                 Source: cookingforseven.com via Kristin on Pinterest

 

  1. Pretty much daily, I browse Pinterest and add things that look either like something I would love to try my hand at, or something that looks as if said boyfriend would enjoy eating to my dinner ideas board. This way I already have things in mind when Sunday rolls around.
  2. On Sunday morning (usually early in the AM as I’m sipping my coffee in the peace and quiet) I pluck out the ole iPhone and pick three recipes that I would like to try for the week. {This is why I think this has worked for me thus far. Three recipes/three nights of cooking is not intimidating at all, and therefore easier for me to stick with. There’s only two of us, and the nights I do cook, we usually have a ton of leftovers to spread out to the remaining two weekday nights. On the weekends we might go out/order in, or I will cook something random, like brinner!}
  3. Then I start my grocery list. I write down the meals at the bottom right corner, and then organize what I need based on the grocery store layout. {Produce first, then meats, then dairy, then all other stuff.} I also scour my kitchen for what I already have so I’m not buying duplicates of anything.
  4. This last step is probably only applicable if you shop at a Safeway, OR if you’re a couponer. Which, I am not, but I do shop at Safeway. :) Safeway is our local grocery store, and I really do love it. I hear that the chain is hit or miss, but we shop at the Georgetown location which is super clean, new, and BIG. Anyways – rambling – Safeway has an app (Just For You) that allows you to add digital coupons to your Safeway card right from your phone. Not only do they have weekly coupons for everyone, but they ALSO give you personalized deals based on what you already buy. AND they have deals on produce! SCORE. So when I go shopping and scan my Safeway card, all of my coupons are right there and apply at the end of my purchase. So, as I am writing out my list, I make little notes based on the coupons I have added. For example, say I have ‘loaf of bread’ on my list, and I have a digital coupon for Nature’s Own brand bread for $1.99. I make a note right there on the list so I don’t have to keep whipping out the app while I’m in the store shopping and comparing prices.
  5. Then, I head to the stores to do my shopping – SOLO. We used to shop together, but I am a freak who loves to spend hours wandering the aisles, examining prices and ingredient lists, and generally just taking way too long. So now the boyfriend stays home. :) I also have been doing two trips, Safeway for normal stuff, and Whole Foods for meats and other things that are either cheaper there (frozen fruits and veggies, peanut butter if you would believe it) or higher quality (meats, milk, etc.). I really do enjoy grocery shopping immensely, it’s weird.

There you have it! So far, it’s working really well for us. I might try and add in a 4th night next week, but we’ll see how it turns out. So far, we have had plenty of leftovers to last us all week.

I would like to say that I also prep all of my food on Sundays, but I don’t. I do try to prep what I can, but I’m human and not perfect and sometimes I am lazy. ;)

I’m also doing pretty well at keeping my apartment picked up on the daily, but more on that later.

Happy Tuesday!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Barbara January 30, 2013 at 7:35 am

Well, hoorah for you! Very impressive. I should be so organized.

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