Welcome to Day 13 of the Whip Your Kitchen Into Shape challenge! If you missed the introduction to the challenge, go here to find out all about it.
This week we'll be focusing all on recipes and meal planning. This is definitely my favorite part of the challenge!
Now that we have our recipes organized, it's time to think about using those to create meal plans. We're simply focus on choosing a meal planning system that will work well for you. I'm sure you don't need to be convinced about the benefits of consistently meal planning (healthier, cheaper, less stress, and all that jazz), but you may need a little encouragement to find a meal planning system that really works for you. That's why I'd like to take today to simply focus on exploring different options. If you already have a system that works well for you, then today should be easy! (And I'd love for you to share your system in the comments.
First off, I'd say the most straightforward and most popular method is just to write down a meal plan and go grocery shopping for the next week. If you use this method, I think the most important thing is to set aside some time on the same day each week to create your meal plan for the following week. Consistency is key. Sometimes simpler is better. If this method works well for you, there's not necessarily a reason to go searching for other methods. However, if you find this method doesn't work well for you, then you still have lots of other options.
You might find yourself like I did a couple years ago. I loved the idea of meal planning, and I enjoyed creating the plan, but I wasn't so great at sticking to the plan! Also, when I plan out a week of meals at a time, I usually plan too much food, and I end up throwing food out. Inevitably, something comes up that I wasn’t planning for like a invitation to someone’s house for dinner, and so then the plan doesn’t quite work out. Also, to be totally honest, by the time Friday rolls around, sometimes, I’m simply not “in the mood” either to cook or to eat whatever I planned for us a week prior.
However, having no plan whatsoever, and stopping by the grocery store all the time is pretty inefficient, not to mention costly and sometimes not so healthy. So what’s the solution?
It’s what I like to call Menu “Planning” for the Non-Planner. This would probably work well for people like me who love organizing and planning, but can’t quite seem to stick with a weekly meal plan. However, I think it would also work well for you if you just really hate planning.
Click here to read all about the Non Planners Guide to Meal Planning. I share exactly how I saved time, money, and enjoyed less meal time stress without needing to create or stick to a detailed menu plan.
There are also a lot of digital meal planning options available. I've tried many of them, and by far my favorite is Plan to Eat. If you invest a little time up front to input some recipes, creating a weekly or monthly meal plan with shopping list is ridiculously fast! I wrote a detailed post with a video tutorial about how is use Plan to Eat when I want to quickly create detailed meal plans.
Today's Assignment: Choose a meal planning method. If you already have a system, you're ahead of the game! Let us know what system you use in the comments.
Then stop by our challenge Facebook group to let us know how it went, or share photos on Instagram with the hashtag #KitchenChallenge. I can't wait to see your progress!