The Homemade Kitchen- Meal Planning Systems

I can’t go food shopping without planning my meals first.  I don’t remember a time where I didn’t.  Beyond having a love of food, I am also extremely Type A, so organization and planning plays a big role in my day-to-day.  I always thought this was just the way everyone did their shopping (because in my head I could not see another way of how to do it), but then I talked with my sister.

For the longest time there she did not plan.  She would decide what was for dinner the night of, and either have to go pick up the ingredients, or if she was not in the mood to trek to the store, she would order in or go out to eat.

Not only was she finding this was a waste of time, and food, since many of the things she would pick up on her weekly grocery trip were going to bad, but it was becoming a big waste of her money too.  More often than not, she and her husband would default to eating out since that was much easier on them than going shopping with a toddler, which is the last thing you want to do after a long day of work.

When they were visiting last Thanksgiving, I shared my Meal Calendar with my sister.  She and her husband both loved the idea and vowed to try meal planning when they got home to Montana.  This week, I wanted to share with you all my system for The Homemade Kitchen in case it can help anyone else.  (If you missed the introduction of the new The Homemade Kitchen category, check out the first article here.)  While I was up in Montana in April, I took some photos of my sister’s genius system, which she made on her own, and I will share it here soon too!

I have had many systems in the past, but they all involved a weekly calendar.  Before I found the amazing calendar I have now, I use to fold a paper in half and then fold it long ways seven times.  That way I would have a square for lunch and dinner planning for seven days of the week.

Then one day I was walking through Target and found this amazing dry erase board.   I love it for a few reasons; one being that it is reusable.  I don’t waste any more paper making my meal plan for the week.  It’s magnetic as well, so it lives on the side of my refrigerator for easy reference.  Roark got us this great little chained pen that we attached to the corner of the board so that we can easily write down items we run out of on the pad of paper included on the board.  The pad also works for writing my whole grocery list down once I have my meals slotted out for the week.

How do you plan your weekly meals?  Do you have any type of system that you can share?

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