Menu Planning Made Easy

There's a meme that's circulated for a few years now and I still laugh out loud every time I see it. It's a woman crying and the caption says " there's no food, only ingredients to make food!" I'm sure we can all relate to standing in front of the fridge at 5:37 and thinking "what am I going to make for dinner?"

The vast majority of my clients lament they have a hard time eating healthy throughout the week, and knowing what to make to stay on track. So how to avoid the dreaded food, but no food situation? Plan. Plan. Plan. 

I, myself, used to go to the store with a couple of meals in mind, or none at all, and wander aimlessly until I felt like I had enough food for the week. Now, every Sunday before my weekly trip to Trader Joe's, I sit down for 10 minutes and plan meals for the upcoming week. Here's what it does for me:

  • Makes me eat healthier throughout the whole week
  • Leaves me with no food waste, as all items have a purpose and are used 
  • Decreases the chances we'll eat out, saving money and calories
  • Saves money by spending less on random items at the store
  • Allows me to have a snapshot of the next day's meals to prepare

This can be as easy as writing it down on a piece of paper and sticking it to the fridge. But if you know me, I want everything to be pretty, so for the last several months, I've been using this weekly menu notepad from Jack & Ella paper. The perforated shopping list is convenient for writing your accompanying grocery list as you go. There are 52 pages, one of every week of the year. I save favorite menus for when I'm pressed for time and need an old faithful to grab and go.

Try menu planning for a month and see if it helps you stay on track and save money. I'm betting it will!

Want more? Check out my six tips for healhtier grocery shopping here. Happy planning!

- Tara