If you don’t want to read about how I use these tools- just click HERE and download the planning PDF. If you’re interested in my system, check it out below!

Friends, I am going to start with I do NOT meal prep… I meal plan. There are not enough hours in a Sunday (or any day) to get all my food prepped and ready for the week. Those of you that can have magic powers, or maybe a lot more discipline than me.

So let’s dive in. I start by writing down ALL the meals I know how to make… or if you’re like me, take this PDF into an editor or type out a list so you can just print another when you’ve gone thru them all (only do the work once, friends). This is only so you don’t bore your family with the SAME meals day in and day out… actually I’m not taking that, I know how to make a decent variety, I’m putting that on my mac & cheese and chicken nugget loving humans… Use this list to cross off as you’re planning- and you can use Pinterest too!

Next, I look at what I already have in my inventory (pantry/freezer/fridge), what is about to go bad? That steak that’s been in the freezer 3 months and the random pound of ground turkey I froze… yeah, that. That’s a great start for a meal plan, it helps you circulate what’s in your freezer and go through the food you’ve already bought! THAT is the basis of your meals for the week.

Then you move onto what you need to make them full meals, so do you need canned green beans, boxed stuffing, a dessert… THIS is what goes on your shopping list. It’s separated by category to make your trips super quick and saves you money by buying ONLY what’s on the list.

I plan two weeks at a time so that I don’t have to shop as often. The exception is I do get fresh produce from a local farm once a week between my shopping trips!

Last you shop. Right after you unload is a great time to separate meats into the right amounts (if you buy in bulk), or wash your produce. I am the type that if I don’t do it while I’m thinking of it, it’s gone forever and it rots in a drawer in my fridge.

Happy Planning, friends!