Meal Planning

This post contains affiliate links but they are all products that I use in my daily life.

One of the things that I think my husband and I have gotten pretty good at is meal planning. He likes having the week planned out and I like having a full fridge – especially now that I’m home each day. We sit down on either Saturday or Sunday and plan out what we are going to have for dinner at least through Thursday.

Benefits of Meal Planning

Sitting down and meal planning might seem daunting but there are so many benefits. My husband is the type who could have chicken/rice/beans each night, I need to switch things up. Plus it’s better for the kids to be exposed to a variety of food. Getting it done on the weekend gives us the opportunity to do our weekly grocery shop and precook anything on Sunday.

Meal planning also gives us control over what we’re eating. I know that sounds obvious but if I’m not prepared for lunch or dinner then I tend to make easy choices and most of the time easy isn’t always healthiest.

Sometimes it’s easy to jot down a few things, other times, it feels like the hugest chore. The last thing I want to do is schlep two kids to the grocery store at 4 in the afternoon – which happens to be our witching hour.

No.

Thank.

You.

So taking the time to figure it all out on the weekend saves me from that, most of the time. Worth it.

There are a ton of meal planning services that you can subscribe to that range from cooked meals delivered to your door to planned our recipes and grocery lists. I usually pull from my favorite cookbooks, websites and old standbys. I keep the days organized in my Erin Condren planner.

If you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, stay on budget or just be more organized in the new year, then the first place to start is with meal planning. Read about how to plan weekly or monthly meals for your crockpot, batch cooking or freezer stash for your busy family. #mealplanning #recipe #organization #dinner #newyear

Cookbooks

Skinny Taste Fast and Slow – I feel in love with this website when we were doing Weight Watchers a few years ago. This cookbook doesn’t disappoint. It has a bunch of great recipes that are either ready quickly or go in the crockpot. I think I’ve made about 60% of the recipes in this book and haven’t made a bad one yet.

Roasted – this was an impulse buy at the grocery store and was a BH&G special issue. I’ve probably used this at least once a week if not for a full recipe than just as a reference on time/temperature for a certain meat or veggie.

Oprah: Food, Health and Happiness – My husband and I are opposites in a LOT of ways and our opinion on Oprah is quite different. I think she can do no wrong and this cookbook is testament to that. It’s full of AMAZING recipes, even if they are a little out of reach for the busy family. Great inspiration though and lots of healthy tips.

Websites

Social Media – anytime I see a recipe video that looks good on Facebook or Instagram, I save it to a collection and peak back at them every so often when I need some new dinner inspiration

Skinny Taste – Like I said above, I found this website when we did Weight Watchers a few years ago and it has the most delish meals. I’ve never made anything from this website that wasn’t good or didn’t need a ton of tweaking to the recipe. She has a wide variety that could fit almost any dietary need. Some of our favorites in heavy rotation are the Chicken Parm, Broccoli Cheese and Potato soup, and all of the lasagna roll ups.

Minimalist Baker – I first heard of this website through TheGoodPathSD on Instagram. We like to do meatless Monday as much as possible and this is a great vegetarian/vegan/GF resource. These Buddah Bowls got us hooked. So good and so easy to throw together.

Two Peas and Their Pod – This is a go to of mine for treats but they also have a ton of great salad and dinner ideas. All yummy and easy to make. She also offers a meal planning service.

Go To Dinners

When I don’t have time to make our planned meal or the inevitable happens and I’m missing one key ingredient and don’t want to go to the store….these are some of the things we keep on hand so we aren’t tempted to go out to eat or order take out.

Turkey Burgers (Kirkland @ Costco), Annies Mac and Cheese and roasted veggie

Orange Chicken (from the freezer section), brown rice and roasted veggie

Easy roasted Salmon, rice/mac/quinoa, veggie from the freezer

I like to make a big batch of pasta sauce to portion and keep in the freezer as well as some homemade chicken soup or Vollmer chili. Easy to defrost and get on the table quickly.

 

If you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, stay on budget or just be more organized in the new year, then the first place to start is with meal planning. Read about how to plan weekly or monthly meals for your crockpot, batch cooking or freezer stash for your busy family. #mealplanning #recipe #organization #dinner #newyear

This Week’s Menu

Monday – Vollmer Chili – it’s a New Years Day tradition.

Tuesday – Brown sugar/mustard Salmon, roasted sweet potatoes and quinoa/brown rice. This salmon is so easy – spread the top with dijon mustard and a little bit of brown sugar. Coat with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes at 375. SO DELISH.

Wednesday – Picadillo and brown rice

Thursday – Vegan Minestrone soup

Friday – Pizza Night – not sure if we will go to our local pizza joint or get the best frozen pizza there is – Against the Grain. We usually have one of the bagged salads from Sprouts along with it.

Saturday – Stuffed turkey meatloaf. This is an old recipe of mine, coming soon to the blog.

If you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, stay on budget or just be more organized in the new year, then the first place to start is with meal planning. Read about how to plan weekly or monthly meals for your crockpot, batch cooking or freezer stash for your busy family. #mealplanning #recipe #organization #dinner #newyear

 

 

12 thoughts on “Meal Planning

  1. Pinned this. Meal Planning is so important and it’s one of my goals for 2018. Thank you for sharing all those references…having recipes ready has been a challenge for me.

    1. I think finding recipe sources that I know don’t taste like crap is a game changer. LOL I just want to have to decide what I want to eat, not who has good recipes or variety.

  2. This is a great post. I love menu/meal planning. It is so good on the budget! I always try to use the same ingredients throughout the week because it really cuts down on food waste.

  3. I love how your husband helps you with your meal planning. We really need to start doing this in our home. We would save so much money and eat less fast food.

    1. Some weeks he’s more involved than others but he usually does the big grocery shop on the weekends so it’s easier if he’s in the loop. HA!

    1. I actually enjoy it when I’m intentional about it vs being rushed and just trying to pick something out. Makes me look forward to cooking those meals later in the week.

  4. Meal planning is a must around here . . .I just wish I could get my husband to check the list before making random things. I can’t tell you how many times I have planned a special dish and just ended up with a bunch of mismatched ingredients I don’t know what to do with!

    1. HAHAHA! That’s happened to us before too. Or I’ll get a bunch of text messages while he’s shopping looking for clarification.

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