Menu planning. Precision grocery shopping. Meal prep Sunday. Those are some of my favorite weekend rituals that carry me through a healthy (and sane) week. At this point,I’ve gotten it all down to a science at this point so that I don’t waste time, energy or money. Now, I searched around for a while for a menu planner that fit my needs. In the end, though, it was easier to make my own so I could put in all the little odds and ends that I find useful.
I was walking through Costco today and a woman stopped to tell me how organized I looked with my list, so I knew I just had to share it with you! What makes this one so useful compared to other versions?
Don’t Waste Your Time Rewriting Things
One of my biggest pet peeves is writing the same one or two recipes in for every breakfast, lunch or snack. I’m a creature of habit, so I tends to eat the same pre-dinner meals all week. Instead of having a planner-like layout, I just made a single box for each of those.
Keep It Flexible
Most weeks I plan for a Sunday to Saturday schedule, but when I’m working odd weekend hours I need a little but of flexibility. Instead of assuming what day is most convenient for you to plan around, I just left that for you to fill out according to whatever works for you.
Bonus: no scribbling out required!
All In One Place
Scenario: You’re in the grocery store. You’re looking for the Greek yogurt on your list, thinking that it’s just for breakfasts. You grab the vanilla flavored stuff only to arrive home and remember that you wanted to use some of that yogurt in a savory dish too.
Oh yeah, I have been there MANY TIMES.
I finally realized that shopping goes much more smoothly if I just have my meal ideas and shopping list all in one place.
One of my favorite tricks is to circle all the items I get at Costco and leave the other items unmarked to get at another store. This way I’m not constantly reading through my whole list to remember what to buy where. Highlighters and little stars help with this too.
Once you’ve been meal planning for a while, you can also start writing out your lists by categories as well.