Now I have a very elaborate Pinterest board as you could imagine. I have a board for no meat, side dishes, main courses, snacks, deserts, breakfasts, crockpot meals….everything! It’s my way of keeping organized. Meal planning is something I do every 2 weeks since we both get paid bi-weekly.
To start the menu, I open up a spreadsheet in my google hangouts and search my pinterest boards for about 10 meals. Google hangouts works great for this because first, it’s a spreadsheet and spreadsheets are amazing. And second, because it is online so you can just open up the app on your phone while you’re at the grocery store and use it as a shopping list.
To start the planning, I list off each meal with the main dish, next column is side dish, next column is ingredients I need (doesn’t include ingredients I know I already have), and the last column is a link to the recipe (or recipe’s for the meal). Under the list of meals, I copy over everything from the “Ingredient” column and create a shopping list from this.
I have been using this meal planning technique for about 2 years now and it is great. When I go to make a meal for the day I just look at my list and see what I feel like eating for dinner. This way you don’t HAVE to have something on a certain day and hubby has an idea of how the week looks and can make suggestions instead of saying “I don’t care”. I only make a list out for 10 meals instead of 14 because sometimes you just need a quick meal or you go out to eat or you have leftovers. This turns out to be the perfect setup for my family.
Below is how my current planning spreadsheet looks. This is on a web browser on my computer and not within the app but it has the same data within the app.