Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Weekly Meal Plan

My first task on the road to domestication was to figure out something that's always eluded me.  How was it that my parents' fridge was always fully stocked and mine was always bare?  How come their fruits were always fresh while I ended up throwing mine out after a few weeks?  And why was it that any single culinary inspiration always turned into hours of work that involved at least one trip to the grocery store?

Well, after picking the brains of some of my married girlfriends, and my dear mother, I found a common thread.  Planning.  Now, I know it seems like a no-brainer but it had never really occurred to me.  Up until this epiphany my motto had always been: When in doubt, boil some pasta.  Not only did that eventually get bo-ring, it was also not very waistline-friendly.  I attribute my 10 lb weight gain to this motto.

But I digress, so back to planning.  The first thing I did was google "weekly meal planning." After rifling through several meal plan templates and getting some ideas, I ended up creating this:
Weekly Meal Plan Template
I sit down every Sunday afternoon and plan meals for the week.  Although the menu is usually quite simple, I do like to throw in something new once a week -- keeps things fresh.  I also take into consideration M and my respective schedules and make a note of whether we might be out on any particular night.  Once I'm done, I peek in the fridge and list out the items we'll need in the 'Grocery List' column.  I copy/paste it into Evernote and can then access it from my iPhone when I'm at the grocery store later that evening.  It makes shopping quick and painless and prevents me from over-shopping. I also make sure to fill out the 'Prep' column. Here, I write down what I need to do the night before, like marinate meat or chop up veggies -- it makes the actual cooking process run way more smoothly.

I've been using this meal planning template for the past three weeks and not only have M and I been eating much healthier, we're also saving a lot of money by not eating out as often.  Eventually, I'd like to have a stack of weekly menus to choose from to minimize my planning time on Sunday. That is, up until we have kids.  After that, I imagine it's whole lot more complicated.

If you'd like a copy of the printable PDF of my template or the actual Excel file send me a message with your email address and I will send it on over.

2 comments:

  1. Would you please send me a copy of your Excel printable template for meal planning. My email address is walshdebra60@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete