How I Meal Plan

Making My Menu
Seriously, when I first started “getting organized” a few years ago, I was clueless. I had no idea what to do or where to start. I had no one to turn to, or blogs to read.
My only example was my mom. When my mom went to the store, she literally just threw stuff into the cart and most nights – if she made dinner – she had to send my oh-so-willing-to-go-out father to get the missing groceries. Luckily, you have me & we’ll never hear another tale of the missing groceries!

Okay, so meal planning.

It truly is one of those things we all dread because 1. it is so tedious and takes forever and 2. how do I that I am going to want to eat that three weeks from now?

If we do this right, and you follow both my menu making and store list creation, you will never forget a necessity.
I learned everything I know from good old, original experience- both good & bad. Try not to make this harder than it needs to be. It’s so easy to make a menu, that is after you have a pretty lengthy list of favorite recipes you like. So, taste-test all those pinterest pins on your foodie board and pick your favorites. Write them all down then add them to your cookbook.

The genius in my right brain created the “dinner jar” to make meal planning easy. If you have a husband or boyfriend or fiance that never gives you insight as what to make, then you are just as me. Those of you with out romantic partners, don’t you dare think we have it easy, for it is even more frustrating that our significant other never tells us what we want. *blah

The Dinner Jar

how to plan dinner menu
I took cute scrapbook paper, printed out fifty- or so of our favorite dinners…

making a dinner menu

…punched them out with a paper punch, hot glued a little twine around the jar and declared it my new best friend (when it comes to meal planning).

menu planning made easy

I just shake-shake-shake and pull out meals one by one. If you aren’t jonesing for what you pulled out, leave it out and pull out a different one! Super easy, huh!

Breakfast Jar & Lunch Jar, anyone? Haha!

When you actually make your menu, write it down. I am the kind of person who literally writes down everything. I have paper and pens on me at all times. If I do not write it down, I will forget. Write only the coming week’s menu down for all to see! You can plan two weeks at a time, but I prefer the freshest ingredients. Weekly store trips are a must for me.

Some tips:

-You can use ideas from my always growing pinterest dinner board.

-Write the meals you choose on your menu. To make things easier, you can have the same meal every Monday. Like Spaghetti!

-Replace 1 meal a day with Shakeology. I like mine at lunch. The healthiest meal of the day and at $4 a serving it beats any fast food meal or latte you can buy! Plus it has the nutritional value of eating 5 large salads in one meal! It will increase your energy, decrease cravings, help you lose weight and give you the nutrition you need in one glass. It’s portable, convenient and absolutely tastes amazing!

-If you use my dinners from my pinterest board, on the day you are cooking that meal, pull up my recipe on your iPad and start cooking away.

-Plan your date nights.

I am by no means a perfect planner. I am very spontaneous, and that means I will change my mind and make southwest pasta bake, when I’m supposed to make greek shrimp pasta. My life as a mom, student, wife, and blogger is extremely frazzling. I need all the help I can get. This Dinner Jar is one of those things I made to improve my life.

I made a blank print-out for my daily BL&D+S aka (breakfast, lunch, & dinner + snacks). Snacks are usually just what I’m craving that day, if at all. Use this to help you out – weeklymenupdf or check out my smoothie detox menus and storelists.

When your menu is completed, you can start your store list.

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