Do y'all hate asking "what should we have for dinner? Or what do you want for dinner?" OR my least favorite "what's for dinner?" ME, I do, I HATE it. Keep reading for my Weekly Meal Planner and meal planning tips! Download the weekly meal planner to help you get started!
I use a weekly meal planner to write out our meals, keep track of ingredients I need to use up, and make sure we stay on track and eat healthy meals at home (with occasional take out because you know, cravings and life happens..) You can download it below or use it as a guide to create your own! It's a very simple tool but so helpful!
Meal planning has been so wonderful for our family. We have a dry erase board beside our fridge that I update weekly and write out our meals so that my husband can just take a look at it and know what we are having. Luckily, he is always grateful for for all the meals I make (if it doesn't turn out good- he nicely tells me "maybe we shouldn't have this again) lol. FACT: he actually says THANK YOU for dinner or thank you for lunch, etc. which I truly appreciate because come on, we all know it's work to plan, prep and cook meals at home.
MEAL PLANNING TIPS
- Before going grocery shopping make a list of meals for the week
- Take inventory of your fridge and pantry. List out must use ingredients, this is mostly for produce that might go bad or pantry ingredients that will expire soon. Yes this is time consuming but it is completely worth it for 2 reasons, decrease waste and save money!
- Write/type it all out!
- list out any ingredients you need to purchase
- Plan to use up leftover ingredients from other meals
- example: a recipe you plan to make this week calls for ½ cup spinach- plan to use the remaining spinach in another dish, make a salad, or add it to a smoothie. Put it on your weekly meal planner so that you don’t forget. There is nothing worse than throwing away fresh produce!
- Double a recipe and freeze it for a rainy day (do this each week)
- we all have days/weeks where things don't go as planned. These extras will help on nights we simply just do not have time to cook
- Wash & chop produce as part of meal prep. (put on your favorite show or music and get it done- promise it's worth it!)
- Portion out ingredients, spices, etc so that it's ready to use . Make spice blends ahead of time.
- LEFTOVERS ARE GREAT FOR LUNCH- MAKE EXTRA!!!
- We make extra dinner every night so that we can have it for leftovers the following day. My husband takes lunch to work every single day. He is not one to order meals or go out for lunch. His schedule is so packed each day, sometimes he even requests cold lunch so that he doesn’t have to spend a few minutes warming up leftovers. I really have to stay on top of meals so that he has lunch to take to work the next day.
This weekly meal planner helps me plan out my meals and use up fridge/pantry items so that they don't go to waste. Print it out, fill it out and stick it on your fridge so that you don't have to deal with the agonizing questions like "what should we have for dinner?