Meal planning Sunday!

14 Feb

Just about every Sunday morning, I sit down with my pad of paper, a pen and my favorite recipes to figure out what’s on the menu for the week. Although Mike could eat the same thing on a weekly basis, variety is the spice of my life so a little meal planning helps with this. I love coming home after work already knowing exactly what we’re making AND that we already have all of the ingredients on hand. It makes dinner time much less stressful, especially when I can anticipate a long day at work or an after work run and plan something easy that night. It also helps that my rockstar hubby is always willing to lend a helping hand in the kitchen come dinner time!

When I first started meal planning, I started a little too big – go big or go home, right?! I planned all of these big, elaborate meals for each week night and it got exhausting trying to keep it up. I’ve since learned that sometimes the best meals are the ones that don’t have a ton of ingredients or take an hour to prepare. I thought I’d share a bit about our system with the rest of you, mostly in the hopes that some of you savvy cooks in the kitchen can share some of your tips with me!

I usually try to follow a bit of a schedule so that choosing meals each week isn’t so overwhelming:

  • Sunday is meal-prep day and a day we try to cook a bigger dinner so there are leftovers for our busier evenings. Typically this is a crockpot meal, but not always. We do our grocery shopping and make lunches (usually a yummy quinoa salad of some kind) for the week, too.
  • Monday I try to follow “Meatless Monday.” My aunt recommended a great Vegan cookbook, Oh She Glows, by Angela Liddon that has several tasty ideas. She also has a blog by the same name. While we aren’t vegan (or even vegetarian), I do try to have a few days each week that we aren’t dependent on meat for protein.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday vary a little bit. Usually 1-2 days is set for leftovers. Sometimes we have something simple like soup or salad (particularly if we splurged on some not so good for you foods for other meals that week!), other times it’s a more involved meal.
  • Friday, we try to have fish. My fish recipe repertoire is pretty small though so I do get a bit bored (meaning if you have any good fish recipes, please share!!)
  • Saturday is a bit of a wild card day. Some days we go out for dinner, others we try new recipes or eat up what’s left in the fridge.

Pinterest has been a game changer for me for recipe finding. It’s such an easy way to find new things to add to our rotation.  Our favorites made their way into a recipe binder organized by categories.

Some of the categories, like appetizers (which actually looks like the label fell out), aren’t really used much and other recipes (like our favorite lunch recipes) could use a category of their own to make it easier to find them. So, I’m hoping to re-organize and clean up the binder the first part of the year.

I also really wanted to make a one of these pretty menu lists, like these:

Instead of my current system: 

While it is effective, I always like the prettied up versions of things 🙂 So this weekend, we made a stop at Home Depot for some supplies and I’m taking Sunday fun day to a whole new level!

I’ll share more details soon!

Just in case you’re curious, here’s what’s on the menu this weekend:

Hopefully this wasn’t too boring to read. I meant it when I said I’d love to hear any meal planning tips from you all! If you made it to the end – yay! Thanks for sticking around and I hope your week was splendid.


One Response to “Meal planning Sunday!”


  1. What’s On the Menu? | Baby Steps - March 17, 2016

    […] now all know how much I love meal-planning (and thanks to those of you who shared your own tips on the subject […]

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