I Heart Meal Planning

It’s all the rage among my circle of twenty-something, recent college grad, budget-concious peers. (That, and saying “YOLO.”) I had heard from a variety of people that it was like, the best thing ever organizationally and financially. David and I decided to try it when we were first married and now we’re hooked. Saturday I plan which meals I will cook and create a grocery list. I dramatically unveil the meal plan on our kitchen chalkboard and Dave kindly acts very interested. Then, Sunday we do all our shopping for the entire week.

Why it rocks:

  1. Saves lots of money. Meal planning-enthusiasts argue most people buy far more than they need because they just grab whatever looks good once they’re at the store and have no overall plan for actual meals to make with what they buy.
  2. Less stress. There’s not “what should we have for dinner tonight?” every night. I spend one hour of set aside time on Saturday deciding for the whole week. It makes it cooking much more enjoyable.
  3. Fewer trips to grocery store. I am totally the person who would otherwise end up going to Kroger everyday to just get two things.
  4. It is healthier. I think I’ve noticed an unintentional side effect that we snack less because I know exactly what I will eat and when.
  5. When questioned what he likes about it, the husband said, “I get really excited reading the chalkboard early in the week. It reminds me of when I was younger and my mom told me what we were having for dinner and I could get excited in anticipation.” Yes, he’s adorable.

(Insert stock photo of David enjoying a food I made).

We budget $100 dollars weekly for the two of us and eat plenty of tasty, high quality food – and we’re usually way under budget, closer to about $75.

I post my “Weekly Eats” feature every Sunday, so y’all can see what we’re cooking and when. Any other meal planners out there? Do you like it or love it?

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7 thoughts on “I Heart Meal Planning

  1. I just celebrated 42 yrs of marriage ! and I am a firm believer of menus, planning and know for a fact that it has saved us time, energy and money–as well as stress. I used to get ideas for a complete menu idea, by reading the schools lunch menus ! That was a good start in knowing how to put what foods together that were considered nutritionally sound.

  2. I could have written that exact paragraph. I am newly married and just had a baby. My husband and I alloted the $90 a week for groceries, andI have started meal planning (only about 2 weeks in) and we both LOVE it. We too are snacking less and eating more “real food.” There is even enough for left over lunches. Looking forward to seeing what new recipes and meal ideas are on your site. Thanks!

  3. I am a busy momma of 5 and LOVE to cook…am just searching for a meal planning system that works for us. I came across your honey maple chicken stuff on PInterest and am off to grab some thawed chicken for tonight (too late in day to mess with frozen), sauce is already made. Long story, we had a maple syrup incident last night and this recipe is JUST what we needed. Thanks!

  4. I started meal planning when I got married a year ago, and I can’t imagine doing anything different! It definitely keeps us from snacking, and when you buy just what you need for your recipies, you know that’s there’s nothing else available to munch on,. It’s great, and ABSOLUTELY saves you money. I always have to stop somewhere and grab a bite to eat before I go grocery shopping though, or else I’m doomed to buy the cheese and crackers that always draw my eye…

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