I promised a post on Meal Planning last week – so here it is 🙂
Staying with yesterday’s post Words, I’m going to keep it short and simple. (I can always post more later, right? 😉 )
Meal planning is my #1 way to save money, reduce stress, and actually have good food to eat in my house. That said – I HATE MEAL PLANNING!!!!
For a family on an extremely tight budget ($250/month or $67.50/week), a limited diet (think pretty much Paleo), and without a lot of time/energy to cook – it’s a frustrating process! I find that this also makes it even more necessary to do, and when I put it off and don’t do it, it’s not good all the way around. I also don’t enjoy cooking all that much either.
But I’ve found that meal planning helps this too! I’ve tried many different systems to make meal planning easier. From Spreadsheets (check out a nice one here that incorporates your pantry, recipes, and more), to a few apps, to just plain pen and paper, and I’m now beginning to use Evernote.
My tried and true method is just a plain old piece of paper and pen. It’s quick and easy. My biggest hang-up to meal planning is when I make it too complicated. So if you’re just starting out – keep it simple!!!
For the last 2 months I’ve gotten back in the habit of meal planning this way. But I’ve really wanted to make some time to write down all the different meals we can actually eat, so I don’t have to come up with meals off the top of my head (this is why we eat a lot of the same foods, and I get bored!). So I started today.
I took my menus from the last 2 months that I wrote down, and entered each food/meal we’ve eaten into Evernote. I then included a tag for the type of meal (i.e Dinner, Side Dish), and the main ingredient (Chicken, Beef). I’ve already been including new recipes I find online into Evernote so that I can refer to them anywhere and not forget them (I always forget what I have on Pinterest!!!).
I’ve also been typing my new menus into Evernote for the last two week. Here’s what next weeks looks like.
My plan is that next week, I can use the tags in Evernote to browse ideas to place in the slots for each food. Hopefully this will help me to vary it up a little bit 🙂 I can also look through the new recipes I’ve found and add them in.
It’s still a work in progress but it’s helping. I also print this out to put on the fridge, which is helpful when I’m standing there and can’t remember what I was planning on feeding Naomi for lunch!
If you are looking for some more resources for meal planning check out this weeks eBook Bundle of the Week below. This bundle is only good until Monday, July 22 at 8 AM, so check it out soon! Here’s some more info.
This week’s bundle takes you back to the basics with 5 cooking resources to help you meal plan, create your own recipes, make homemade condiments and reduce waste. With a little planning, you can save time and money in your kitchen, and this week only get all 5 ebooks for just $7.40, or 85% off their list price!
With your purchase, you’ll get all five of these ebooks:
- How To Cook For Yourself by Rachael Roehmholdt
- Cooking Techniques with Olive Oil by Mary Platis and Laura Bashar
- Restocking the Pantry by Kresha Faber
- Design a Dish by Millie Copper
- From Garbage to Gourmet by Carrie Isaac
Well that’s all for today 🙂
Leave me a comment and let me know what your Meal Planning strategy is. What’s your motivation to keep at it?
(Affiliate links are used in this post. This means that if you decide to purchase a resource I’ve recommended that I get a small fee for sharing the resource with you. Note: I will only use affiliate links that I’ve personally used and honestly recommend! See Disclosure Policy)