Simple Meal Planning

You can adapt Courtney Carver’s Project 333 clothing system,, to meals. Make a list of 33 or more of your family’s favorite meals. Choose them according to seasons as you might, for instance, have more salads in the summer and more soups in the winter. Then make a grid of squares that looks like an empty calendar page. Plug your family’s favorite foods into the grid taking your activity calendar into consideration.

Or you might assign one day a week to a category. For instance Taco Tuesday is popular while your busiest day might be takeout day. Now, that might sounds like you’d be eating the same thing all the time but what if, for instance, one night was pizza night and you had pepperoni the first week, BBQ chicken the second week, ham & pineapple the third week, and chicken alfredo the fourth week. Or on takeout night you had oriental one week, fried chicken the next week, specialty hamburgers the third week, and sub sandwiches the fourth week. That doesn’t sound so boring, does it?

Erica Layne,, taught me this next step. Take a large index card and write one week’s menus on it then the next week’s menus on another card, until you have a full month’s worth of weekly menus. Then turn each card over and write a grocery list for that week’s food. If that list is in the order of my grocery store so much the better. For instance my store has produce in the right front, meat in the right back, dairy in the left back, and bread in the left front so having my list sorted that way makes grocery shopping easier

Now all your meal planning is done for a whole month and you can simply repeat that plan for the next two months if you’d like. Yay!

And think of how much time you will now have for other activities with all that planning done for the whole month. Or whole quarter if you reuse the plans for three months.

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