Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Meal Planning Part 2

Hope I didn't bore you guys too much with my last post regarding budgeting for meals but it really is the focus of my planning and dictates what we eat.

The best part of meal planning? Picking out delicious recipes, whether new ones or those that are tried and true. I like to scour Pinterest, epicurious, food network, and foodgawker. I also have my staples that I use for when I'm on a tighter budget than usual (spaghetti, hot dogs, etc), and of course my husbands favorites (fish tacos, chicken marsala, and anything with butternut squash ). If you are on Pinterest, follow my food board to get some ideas.

My sister made and printed me a butt load of these awesome worksheets for planning (download PDF file HERE). They are even more awesome because she is also raising her kids in a blended family and has a special icon she colors in so she knows what nights her boys will be home for dinner and what's nights they wont. It's extremely helpful for mommas like us. The first column lets you know what day and date each meal is assigned to. The second column I write down the actual meal (main dish and side dishes) and in the third column I write what I will need to purchase from the grocery store/farmers market.

I fill out 5 out of seven days for leverage in case we have an excess of one particular meal and can eat leftovers. Realistically though, there are never leftovers. Did I mention my husband likes to eat? I like to leave some room if we decide to enjoy a meal out or for Sundays when we usually eat dinner with Carls parents. And, lets be real, I live down the street from my parents so mooching a meal is not difficult since all you have to do is mysteriously show up unannounced at 5:30.

In addition, I use this dry erase board from Target just for Ellies lunch only. I divided each section in to building blocks for her lunch. First row is the main dish, second is veggie, third fruit, fourth is carb/dairy and last but not least, sweet treat. 

I hope this helps organize your weekly meal planning. I highly recommend it! It saves money, trips to the grocer, and most importantly time. 

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