OK, take a deep breath! Meal planning can be very simple or very complicated. It’s whatever you choose to make it be. I am a planner by nature, so I enjoy meal planning, especially as I work hard to utilize the food in our fridge, pantry, and freezer to the best of my ability. I use Google Calendar to meal plan AND I use a hand-written menu since Bubs is not into technology and to keep it easy for Maddie & Bubs to get their own breakfast and lunches each day.
After much reading and trying to cut back on food costs, I have learned to browse our pantry, freezer, and fridge while making the weekly meal plan. This reminds me of foods that need to be used before going bad and foods that I have forgotten about. I generally only “plan” for breakfasts and dinners. Lunches tend to be leftovers or meals that I have stored in the freezer for busy weeks. Sometimes, on Sundays, if I’m not busy, I’ll plan and make a lunch for us for Monday and Tuesday until we get enough leftovers.
Here’s my meal plan for the upcoming week. I do keep it “fluid” meaning that I am flexible enough to change it if an activity comes up, a snow day (we’ve had plenty of those this year), etc. As you can see, I keep it simple. Dinners always have veggies, but I don’t write those in. I use what’s in the crisper or freezer. Many breakfasts include some berries, but again, I don’t write that in. It’s a “given” in our house. The checks next to the meal indicates that it’s made or already prepared. I have limited time from when I come home from school until I go to bed, so this system works for me and limits the amount of thinking I have to do during the busy weeks. Click the link below to look at this week’s meal plan.
In my Google Calendar, if I’m trying a new recipe, I’ll include the link in the notes section so I have easy access to the recipe. That’s one feature I love because I HATE searching for recipes and let me tell you, I have TONS of them!
I’ll keep sharing my meal plans and maybe add more details to help you with yours. If there’s a recipe that seems enticing to you, just let me know and I’ll be happy to share it and credit the owner. 🙂