So you want to create a meal plan? Well you’ve come to the right place. Although my method for creationg a weekly meal plan is so easy I almost didn’t want to share it with you. But, as I examined it further I realized there is actually a science to it. Not only that but the way I meal plan saves me time and money. So why wouldn’t I share it with you?!
meal plan by shopping at home
The first step to meal planning is looking at what you already have. When I first started meal planning I would look through my favorite cookbooks (here’s looking at you True Roots) and put all the ingredients needed on my grocery list. You can probably see where I’m going with this. That method cost us way more money in grocery bills and we were always left with random ingredients that would eventually go bad.
Then I came across Jordan Page and she showed me the way of what she calls shelf cooking. Basically you make a list of the things you have on hand like produce, cheese, frozen meals etc. Genius!
When you create a meal plan you want to include meals that will use up anything that’s about to expire. Esentially I was doing it backwards, create a meal plan around what you already have, not around specific recipes.
Use ingredients you already have to meal plan
The next step in creating your meal plan is to use your list of on hand ingredients to decide on your meals for the week. I save a lot of my recipes on pinterest so I tend to go there first (follow me on Pinterest so you can see what I’m cooking!).
Another great resource for recipes when you’re meal planning is allrecipes.com. It’s actually perfect when you’re creating a meal plan using ingredients you already have because you can search recipes by ingredient!
When you’re planning your meals for the week be sure to note any days that might require an easier meal. For instance on the nights when we have baseball I know I need something quick and easy. But no matter how easy the meal is going to be I always plan for it and write it on the weekly meal plan list.
Once you pick your meals for the week make sure to write them down. I use a dry erase fridge magnet to keep our meals front and center. That way everyone knows what’s for dinner and I can remember to take anything out to thaw or prep if I need to.
Create your grocery list
Now that you have decided on your meals for the week you want to create your grocery list. Our family uses the alexa app for our grocery list. It’s great because both my husband and I can add to the list from our phones as well as through Alexa. If you don’t have the alexa app I highly recommend trying a webbased list system. It’s a great organizational tool that keeps everyone in the household on the same page.
CREATE A MEAL PLAN AND SAVE MONEY
There are several reasons why people want to create a meal plan. One of which is to save money. Without a plan for the week, it’s easy to end up either eating out more often or going to the grocery store too many times. That’s where meal planning comes in, with a plan for the week you ideally only grocery shop once and eat out when you plan on it. Because honestly, I don’t know about you but every time I walk into a grocery store I buy way more than what I actually need.
The other way to save money when you create a meal plan is to order your groceries online. I know it sounds crazy but I believe anytime you avoid going into the grocery store you save money. When you order groceries online the person shopping for you isn’t also going to impusle buy that $3 chocolate bar. I mean sometimes I wish they would, but you know…
You can either have your groceries delivered for a small fee and tip OR you can really save money and pick the order up yourself! We use the Whole Foods curbside option but also use INSTACART (especially for Costco orders!).
While we’re on the subject of saving money I have to tell you guys about FETCH. Have you heard of this app? It’s so simple and rewarding (literally)! Basically you sign up and scan in your reciepts when you shop. For every receipt you scan you earn points which you can redeem for gift cards. They have every gift card you can imagine, Amazon, Apple etc. If you sign up using my link you get bonus sign on points!
Creating a meal plan will save you time, money and most importantly stress! I typically do my weekly meal plan on Saturday morning. I pickup or have my groceries delivered that day and then I use Sunday to meal prep if needed.
Part of my vision for Roots & Harbor (this site you’re on) is to help people create what I call a holistic home. A home that truly reflects them whether that’s through aestetic, energy, the food in the fridge, the things they do in the house etc. Creating a meal plan is just one way to start living intentionally and creating a holistic home. Meal planning will help clear up space in your head to do the things you want to do with all the extra time you have not stressing about what’s for dinner.
So I really hope you try meal planning and when you do comment below or reach out to me and let me know how it went!