Friday, July 14, 2017

Meal Planning, NOT PREPPING!




Truthfully, I am not much of a meal prepper.  I just end up leaving all the prep work in my fridge for TOO long.  I always thought that meal prepping and meal planning went hand and hand.  That actually isn't always true.
I tried meal planning so many times before but none of the systems ever stuck with me.  I would plan 7 dinner meals and assign them to a week day.  Then that day would approach and I wouldn't want to eat that meal.  It would throw off my entire plan for the week and I would end up eating out.  I needed my plan to be more flexible so it was easiest to adhere to. ( I swear I have great ideas but they are hard to stick with!)  So after many failed attempts, I came up with a back to the basics system.  Meal planning this way has saved me a lot of $$ and time.  This system is easy, cheap and will help you remember everything you need. (no extra grocery trips during the week.) 

Ok let's just start with what you need to begin:
  1. One 9.5 x 7.5 soft cover notebook ( I like this one ) (or any notebook that makes your heart smile.)
  2. One Pen ( obviously pick your favorite one but I really like the Pilot G2)
  3. Two Binder Clips (dollar tree sells these for very cheap but I got these U- brand clips on Amazon.)
  4. A Ruler (unless you don't care about straight lines. No one is looking! Westcott is the best rule in my opinion though. )
  5. Excitement!  You are about to get healthy, eat out less and start feeling your best. (and maybe stickers because I love stickers.)
  • Step One: Pick your Grocery day
You want you grocery day to be a day when its most convenient for you.  It's important to pick a day that you are least likely to bail out.  Meaning , you must make it easy to say yes to grocery shopping.  You want to go consistently on the same day of the week because you will base some of your meals on up coming sales.  (different days is sometimes different sales. You got me?)
  • Step Two: Pick your Grocery Store
By now, I'm sure you have a grocery story that you frequent the most.  Make sure you are signed up for their card and download their app.  That way, you can clip coupons on your phone and read the circular for the week. 
  • Step Three: Setup your Meal Plan book
You want to star with 2 fresh blank pages:

On the left side you will write:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (sounds stupid simple right?)



On the bottom left side of the book I place one binder clip to hold the paper coupons for that grocery trip.  I use the remaining clip to turn the book inside out to clip the two book sides together.  (This makes it easier to carry around the store.)


On the right, I use my ruler (or washi tape) to create different sections according to my grocery store.  This makes it simpler for me to find things when I'm walking through the store.  (you have to make it fast when you have a 1 year old)

  • Step Four: Fill in the Meals and Ingredients. 
Now you are all set to fill in the Meals on the left and the things you need on the right.  I leave my book on the counter all week so I can add things to it easily.  Then on Sunday (that's our grocery day) I fold the book in half, clip it together and go.  The clips help hold the coupons for that week so I never forget to give them to the cashier. 

Some people prefer a meal planner book. Those work for a lot of people but I'm super disorganized so it didn't work for me.  Also, the chalk board meal planner approach is pretty popular.

Download this Free Shopping List printable that I created.  I designed it to function the same way as my notebook.  You can download it here.


This system has helped me tremendously!!! I hope it might help you too.  I would love to see what your book looks like. 




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1 comment:

  1. Needed to read this :) was thinking of just meal prepping and didn't really think of planning much. Good work!

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