If I don’t prepare my thoughts in advance, making a healthy meal every night can turn into some stale potato chips and spaghetti-os quickly. This is where meal planning comes in!!!
Meal planning can sound difficult and overwhelming, but it’s not! Let me share with you some of my tips and tricks for meal planning!
Related Posts: How to Make Meal Planning Quick and Easy
This post is a look into how I personally meal plan. Here’s a glance into what I do:
Before deciding on meals, plug your appointments and commitments into your planner.
I plug in my appointments/meetings into my planner. (I’m using an Erin Condren life planner at this time.) I sometimes even plug in the expected temps – because who wants chili if it’s 80 degrees outside.
Decide your cooking method and needs for each individual night.
I find a day where we are busy to plug in a crockpot or instant pot meal. The longer meals get plugged into the least busy nights. I may plan a night for eating out or take out night if we aren’t home.
Here is just a quick example from an earlier week:
Monday – we had an academic team match at 3:45 and Crossfit at 5:30 – that was going to put us home at 6:45 or so. This is on a school night when my son goes to bed at 8:30 – and that’s after a shower and bedtime routine… SO, I inserted an instant pot meal here: Steak tips in the IP (instant pot).
Meal Logs to Help with Ideas for Meal Planning
I also keep a meal log in the back of my planner to pull from because sometimes I get mental blocks!!!!
A meal log is basically a written list of different ideas to pull from – I have a crockpot list, instant pot list, Mexican food list, casserole list, and so on… Then, when I feel brain dead or blank for food ideas, I just flip to the back of the planner to my meal log.
I also rewrite them into each planner each year, and carry them over and add to them or eliminate as needed.
I have a free printable for these meal logs in this post: One Brilliant Meal Planning Hack.
How do you meal plan? Any good tips I can incorporate into my life??