I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend. I know we sure did! How can you not, right?
I took a little blog holiday over the weekend so I didn’t share my weekly meal planning post. As I was putting it together, I thought I’d share some tips and tidbits that I’ve picked up over the years of planning.
Prior to kids, I rarely ever meal planned. I’d find recipes from cook books or magazines and make them whenever I felt like it. I rarely planned out the meals before I grocery shopped for the week. Don’t have the ingredients for a certain dish? It was no big deal to run to the grocery store to pick it up on a whim.
After the kids’ were born, I still didn’t meal plan. Winging it was all the time I felt I had for food. If I wasn’t trying to feed myself, I was trying to feed two other mouths. And then clean up those two mouths. Which rarely got said food only in mouth.
But then around their one year birthday, I realized that winging it wasn’t going to work anymore. My free time was spent feverishly cleaning the house or doing whatever else I could cram into nap time. And with the magical witching hour always landing around dinner time, I couldn’t afford to be spending more than 20-30 minutes preparing food.
That’s also about the time I started reading food blogs. I began to find new easy, healthy recipes. I can’t remember exactly what blog it was, but the concept of meal planning was mentioned and I knew I needed to try it.
Since then, I’ve been on the meal planning train. It definitely helps a ton in grocery shopping and not living on eggs, toast and avocado every single night. Although I do really enjoy those types of dinners too.
I let my meal planning slide a bit during the summer but I committing to it once again with the new school year. With kid’s sports and other evening activities going on each week, it’s essential to have a plan.
Here are 4 meal planning tips and tidbits that I use each week.
By far, my biggest source of meal planning inspiration is from Pinterest. Consulting my Crock Pot Recipe, Easy Dinners, Healthy Snacks, or Clean Eating Recipe Boards always gives me ideas. The genius behind the alogorithm of Pinterest knows what I like. I can go on there anytime and find recipes that I like.
If Pinterest is my first stop, it’s because I pin a TON of recipes off of blogs every week. When you are a blogger who loves reading blogs, you find recipes everywhere. Here’s some of my favorite food blogs to follow for delicious recipes.
I don’t always feel like following a recipe. Sometimes I want to wing it. Maybe it’s making a simple stir fry, Broccoli Slaw Egg Rolls, Crockpot Veggie Chili or Brinner, family favorites that are quick and easy always happen at least once a week even if I did have something planned.
I laughed when my mom sent me a subscription to Good Housekeeping Magazine. Isn’t that an old lady magazine? I was pleasantly surprised to find really good recipes (and home tips!). It’s not as old lady-ish as I remembered. Or it’s just because I have become an old lady who enjoys Good Housekeeping.
Runner’s World and Women’s Running are two of my other favorite magazines for recipes. They know what runner’s want!
When I find a recipe that looks good, I’ll rip it out and stick it in a binder I have full of recipes. I was looking at my recipe binder for this week’s meal plan and laughed at one recipe in there – Cooking Light circa 2006. There’s mention of margarine. Does anyone use margarine anymore? If so, please don’t!
Here’s what’s for dinner this week at my house:
Sunday: Make your own pizza night
Monday: Cook out
Tuesday: Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles
Wednesday: Crockpot Black Bean Quinoa Soup
Thursday: Homemade Pizza Bowls
Friday: Take out
Saturday: Grilled Honey Chiptole Salmon + veggies
Where do you get your meal planning inspiration?