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How I make sure I’m never without dinner plans…

How I make sure I’m never without dinner plans…

How I make sure I’m never without dinner plans…

Ok, ok those of you who know me already know that this post is not about my fabulous social life! This post is about the sanity that I get from having a weekly menu and a grocery list that matches it, and I’m going to share how I get it all done in the midst of a full time job running my business, parenting and managing my fantasy football teams.

I sit down once a week, usually Thursday night, and decide night by night what we’ll eat for the next week. I grab my laptop so I can find recipes online, I have my own database of “favorites” that’s semi-organized in a binder and in a google doc, and I have a collection of a few go-to cookbooks (the ones that have NEVER failed me :)). Then I interrogate my husband, who usually has something in mind that he really wants to eat and we decide what days to put meals on based on prep time available vs. prep time needed.

For example, I will do a crockpot meal on a day when I have the 30 minutes in the morning to the prep before work. Other days, it’s leftovers and a salad that I can start cooking around 6 p.m. I also will check and see what’s in my freezer for meat and seafood options so I know what I need to use up.

Once that’s all done, I get a COMPLETE grocery list. Do I need a lime for a shrimp taco recipe? Add it to the list. Do I have RED lentils for a curry? Check. How’s my produce stash? Do I have enough veggies for meals and daily juicing? Add those to the list. Shopping happens on Friday or Saturday for us, so having the menu done on Thursday leaves a little bit of buffer time to remember things we’ll need in the next week.

I found this handy planner on another site that you can download for free to keep all this stuff in one place. Click here to get the planner below:

meal-planner

Here’s a link to another planner I also like.

I was tickled to find this to help clients menu plan, and I hope you like it too! Add your comments below with strategies you use to plan your weekly meals and let me know how my ideas helped you.

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