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What's for dinner? || Fool Proof Meal Planning

9.08.2014

If I've learned anything in the last two years since becoming a wife with a full-time job, it's that meal planning saves time, money and my sanity. Although it can take some time to get into the swing of it and learn a rhythm, it's so worth it when you do because you won't be left stuttering when your hubby or child says those infamous words, "What's for dinner?"

I've put together a list of tips that have helped me journey through meal planning. It's all about trial and error and what works for you.

PLAN AHEAD
This seems like an obvious statement, but it's the most important part of meal planning for the week. I like to sit down on Friday or Saturday with my calendar and first go through the weeks events. Do we have small group meeting, social event or appointment after work? Obviously this is going to cut into dinner making so on a night with an event I might make a crockpot meal so it's waiting for us when we get home. Have everything pre-planned for the week written in so you can plan accordingly.

VARIETY
Routine gets boring so don't always play it safe when meal planning. I like to try one new meal each week. Something I've never made before. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But occasionally we get a new favorite to add to the list. Have a variety of options to choose recipes from. I like to grab a couple of cookbooks, the TIU nutrition plan and bring up Pinterest to gain inspiration for dinner. I try to make sure no meal is the same throughout the week.

USE WHAT YOU HAVE
I always check my refrigerator and my pantry for what I already have and what needs to be used. So often I forget what I buy and those items with expiration dates of course get tossed. Ouch! So take a peak through your cabinets and see if you can create some recipes out of items you already own.

MAKE A LIST & STICK TO IT
After you've chosen all of your recipes lay them out and write down what you need to buy to create these recipes. Make sure to put correct quantities because nothing hurts like coming home to make a meal and realizing you needed 3 cans of tomatoes, not one. Also, don't deter from your list. Stick to what you need or else you'll spend more than necessary and most likely waste it.

HAVE A BACK UP PLAN
Sometimes I've planned a meal that we just aren't "feeling" the night I planned on making it. So I always keep a frozen pizza or lasagna around for those just in case moments. I find it harder to stick to a meal plan now that I'm pregnant because of my fluctuating cravings so sometimes I just end up eating a pb&j, but I then just push my pre-planned meal down the line for the next unplanned day.

PREPARE
I like to write down the entire weeks recipe plans in my Whitney English planner since it has that cute little spot for "Dinner". The day before I'll check my planner to see what's up on deck for the next meal. That way I'm prepared to defrost, precook or prep anything that needs to be done ahead of time for our meal.

ENJOY
Taking time to meal plan is tough work. Give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself by enjoying your meal(s) with a glass of wine (or in my case sparkling water).


Do you meal plan? What has worked for you?
13 comments on "What's for dinner? || Fool Proof Meal Planning"
  1. Love these tips! I'm usually pretty good about planning ahead and making a list, but can definitely improve in using what I have. I just bought way too much garlic this weekend even though I still had some hidden away in the back of the veggie drawer...oops!

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  2. I pretty much do the same type of thing, if not I end up throwing loads of food away. I find it works out really well!

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  3. I am soooo guilty of wasting food because I forgot about it until its past the expiration date.. so frustrating! I love the idea of writing down meals in your planner, I have a Erin Condren one that would be perfect to do the same.

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  4. Meal planning is the best!! We rarely have a back-up plan, so I'm going to incorporate that for sure!!

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  5. I definitely try to plan ahead and I almost never have a back up plan. Probably something I should have though since I've needed it on several occasions! Sometimes it's so hard figuring out what sounds good for dinner a few days in advance though!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  6. these are excellent tips! I really need to try this out!

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  7. We totally meal plan and we do most all of these things you listed! I don't even know how I went shopping before. What an unorganized mess! haha

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  8. Great tips. We do this on and off. More off lately... Want to get back into it!

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  9. I love meal planning and live by it! It's my goal to sit down this weekend and bust out one for the next month!

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  10. Well, I laughed out loud as I read this. I literally do every single one of these as well. From the Friday planning, having a backup, trying a new recipe every week, keeping it all in my planner so I can have everything prepped/thawed. This is getting comical, we're the same person with different colored hair.

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  11. I definitely meal plan, and I love these tips! We (pre-pregnancy) ate about 80/20 paleo, but since I have an aversion to meat these days, I've had to come up with some new options. I generally think of 5 main dishes and work a whole bunch of sides around that. Then we just have one night to eat out, and one night of leftovers :)

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  12. I so need to do this - what is it they say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail? that is me on the weekly - I have good intentions and start the week well and then slowly fall off the bandwagon. I just need to follow some of your ideas here...maybe it will work. Oh, and thanks for sharing!

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  13. Hi, My wife and I have been married for 15 years. For over five years I have been dealing with jealousy issues because of flirting and her having emotional type affairs with other men. I felt like my masculinity was in question and if I said the way she was acting bothered me, it seemed to make matters worse or I was accused of being controling. During this period I did state I wanted a divorce if the behavior was not going to end: texting men a night, leaving for the weekend without letting me know where she was going or not responding to messages. We do have a son and basically it's been him and I for the last year on the weekends. She disconnected completely from being a good wife and mother. In April she said she wanted a separation and I said no we need to get into marriage counseling. We did try that, but she was not very responsive and didn't give any effort. Afterward she was adamant about separation and divorce. I continued to say no and that we needed to save our family. She presented a separation agreement and I had to hire a lawyer. Because of the above behavior my lawyer suggested a private investigator. The investigator discovered my wife was having an affair with a close friend of the family who also is married with children. We know the extended families. I feel like I should tell this man's wife about what happened. This adultery has devastated me emotionally, I feel betrayed and I'm physically drained. I know my wife is passionate in terms of her sexuality, and I can't get the thought of them out of my head. It makes me question my own manhood, and I feel very inferior or that he must be a better lover or what ever. The problem is my wife pursued him. She would go to him and she lured him into this adultery. I felt this was coming for some time and could not stop it. She was not only lying to me but also to our son about what she was doing and where she was going. My family is important, my son loves her and as crazy as it sounds so do I. Can you respond with a course of action on how to proceed? I was still have a very huge place in my heart for her. so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my wife came to me and apologized for the wrongs she did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I, my son and my wife are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: Ahmedutimate@gmail.com or call/Whats-app: +2348160153829 save your crumbling home and change of grades its 100% safe. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.

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