I know there are all kinds of fancy apps and computer programs to meal plan. However, I am still an old school pen and paper kind of girl. The easiest way for me, is to keep a journal with my meal plans for dinners. We are a large family of 8 and I also cook 5 nights a week for my parents. So, most nights I am cooking for 10.
My method is easy, but it works for me. I bought a nice Erin Condren notebook to use. I love it because it is sturdy and cute. Since I look at the thing constantly and take it with me to the store I wanted something that would hold up. Not that you have to use a “cute” notebook. The cheap $.25 one from back to school sales would work perfectly too.
I flip the page each week and start my menu plans on the left hand side. Then on the right side I write out my grocery list for each meal while I am making the menu. It is seriously that easy. I do 1 week at a time. I was doing 2, but I have learned that I prefer my produce fresher and a weekly trip just works much better for me.
I don’t really plan out my breakfast and lunches anymore. I have a routine that seems to work and I just keep my staples stocked in the house. I rotate through my main breakfast options: eggs, overnight oats, protein shakes, and toast with Trimmy’s. For lunches I eat leftovers or make up a big salad. I always try to have salad ingredients in the fridge. My favorite version is to make a BIG bed of greens then top with some chopped up egg and turkey then add whatever vegetables I have in stock. My favorite go to dressing is the Grand Greek from the new cookbook or the Bolthouse Farms Ranch (I find mine in the refrigerated part of the produce at Walmart).
I realize this is the most Kindergarten way to meal plan, but it is easy and it works great to keep me organized. How do you meal plan for your family?