I made it to week 2, y’all! Are you surprised? Cause I am. I don’t have the best track record with goal-setting, so getting through all 6 of these babies will be nothing short of a miracle.
For week 2, my focus was on meal planning. Why meal planning, you ask? Because I honestly believe in the magical power of a well-thought-out list. List-making and I… we go waaay back. I love it. Always have, always will.
Because meal planning is all about lists, I just knew we’d get along nicely. I’ve tried meal planning in the past, and I’ve been just OK at it. I definitely have room for improvement, so I was excited to figure things out and find a system that works for me. I found this little printable on Etsy – go check them out, there are tons to choose from! I printed it out, laminated it, and hung it up in my most-used cupboard. I wrapped a dry erase marker in velcro and hung it up above the list. I have issues with losing things… so this step was necessary 🙂
One of the first things you need to do to make meal planning work, is have a good stock of recipes. Head over HERE to see how I organize my recipes in a binder, and download my free printables. When I go to plan out a week of meals, it’s so easy to have all my favorite recipes in one place!
It’s also important to have a regular “shopping day” every week. The more I stick to my schedule, the better this system works. When I falter and let things slide, it all pretty much falls apart!
My designated shopping day is on Mondays, so I have my meal plans start then. I pick my 7 meals (or 6 with an option to eat out!) and write them on my calendar. Then I make my shopping list, which includes any items I need for those meals, that I don’t already have.
– Choose a variety of recipes! You don’t to be eating the same thing all week, so be sure to mix things up – Mexican, Italian, Thai – you name it! You could even assign each night of the week a different theme, such as soups, crockpot meals, meatless, etc.
– Throw in a meal or 2 each week that are very simple. You never know when life will get crazy and you find yourself with almost no time to cook. Instead of defaulting to eating out, always have a meal you can whip up in a jiffy.
-Look at the sale ads for your area, and plan your week accordingly. If my store is having a crazy good deal on sweet potatoes, you better believe we’re having sweet potato enchiladas that week!
– Pay attention to what’s in your pantry, and take advantage of the food you already have. Don’t let things spoil – use them up!
– If I have any meals that aren’t perishable, I save those for the end of the week. Tackle the meals that require fresh produce/easily perishable food first, so they don’t go bad before you ever get to use them.
– Stick. To. The. List. This one’s a toughie. But it must be done. If you go to the store with a plan and stick to it, you will avoid all of those impulse buys and end up saving some serious dinero. Also… don’t go shopping hungry 🙂
I’m doing purty good so far with my meal planning. I just hope I can stick to it and really make it a habit. It can really help you save money, and a whole lotta time! It’s so nice to not have to wonder what I’ll make for dinner, because all the prep and planning has been done!
Join me next week as I talk about my week 3 goal – making healthy substitutions!