I constantly get asked about meal planning and it’s one of the topics I love discussing. I like cooking, I LOVE budgeting/saving money, and I enjoy planning out meals. Yes, it’s a chore but I look forward to providing meals for our family that they like, that are healthy and that help us stick to our budget. I often get asked exactly HOW to get this done. I decided to write out exactly what I do step by step so that you, too, can incorporate meal planning into our life. Even if you aren’t necessarily sticking to a tight budget, meal planning helps alleviate stress from your day and helps the home run more smoothly.
Before beginning, I print a set of THESE off to write everything down on. Feel free to grab a set, (or all 10) and use them yourself! They are all FREE!
- The first thing I do is right down our pantry and freezer inventory. I look at the grains, canned goods, meats, pasta sauce, etc to see what we already have. I’m AWFUL about buying something we already had so I really need to get better at takin an inventory.
- Then I check our fridge to see what we’re low on (condiments, eggs, almond milk, butter, etc) to add to the grocery list. I LOATHE running out of 1 item and having to hit the store for it mid-week. It throws me off my game completely.
- Next, I head to my Pinterest board (click HERE) to see what recipes we want for the next week or two. I’m trying to plan for 2 weeks but I usually can only make it 1 before needing to hit the store again. I look through all of the recipes I’ve collected and pick some new ones and some tried/true.
- Then I look at our schedule for the week and see what days are busy ones. Those are the days that either get BLT’s, pasta, or a crockpot meal. Then I fill in the slower days with meals I have more time for. I hope that makes sense. Don’t put a lengthy meal on a busy day. That always gets me into trouble.
- NOW is when I make the grocery list and head to Aldi. It’s the ONE place I can get just about everything we need at the lowest price possible. Yes, it beats out Walmart. See my post on Aldi HERE. There are lots of pics! I can usually FILL my cart completely full for less than $100 and that includes meats and fresh produce. I’ve never had any trouble with their produce.
There you have it. That’s exactly how I meal plan. Yes, it takes some effort but, y’all, it is extremely worth it!!!