Why (and how) I Create a Weekly Meal Plan
If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a planner. And although I shamelessly admit that I try to plan for anything and everything that just isn’t always the case. Meal prep and planning is one of those things that in 10 minutes time I can create a little bit of normalcy to what can be a hectic week of clashing schedules, overflowing to-do lists and the always unforeseen circumstance.
Some people ask why I plan our dinners out for the week and how I manage to only go to the grocery once. And my answer is always because I simply don’t know any different. I grew up with an at times organized mom (love you, mom!) who spent every Sunday morning at the breakfast table planning our meals for the week. Some meals were cooked on Sunday and just reheated during the week and some were made that night. It was always consistent to our schedules but it was truly what I grew up thinking everyone did.
So when Evan and I moved in together a little over two years ago we made an agreement – I would worry about the groceries, meal planning and prep and other various household items if he stays on top of our bill payments and budgeting. Essentially, I make sure the man is fed and he makes sure we have a bed, running water and electricity :). So far I’d say it’s worked out pretty well.
I spend every Wednesday planning our meals for the week (starting that Saturday to the following Thursday — I do not cook on Friday nights). I typically base it off of the weekly circular that’s published that morning and try to buy as much on sale as I can which can prompt for a little creativity and sometimes a good, hard Google search. I fill out a Google Sheet (the same way I planned our Thanksgiving menu) that organizes meals by day and then fill in the appropriate grocery items that need to be picked up. For me, it’s easiest to go day by day and fill in the ingredients per recipe rather than going back and filling in my grocery list after the fact.
Once complete I try to print it out and keep it as a reference throughout the week but most of the time I forget and just rewrite everything before my weekly Saturday morning grocery trip. My goal isn’t perfection….just as good as I can get it.
Now I know some of you are thinking I’m crazy…a lot of the times I think so too but this is what helps me ensure that we are eating a well balanced meal and that we aren’t visiting the grocery every night on the way home from work (which can get pretty pricey!).
Do any of you meal plan every week? Kudos to any of you that meal plan and prep everything before the beginning of the week. It’s hard but so worth it.
If you are interested in creating a Google Sheet for your own use please let me know in the comments below and I will be happy to send you a great template to work from!
For the few that asked, here is the Chicken Pot Pie recipe that I made during the week. Wednesday to be exact 🙂