I always find it interesting to hear how others meal plan so I thought I’d share my method with you. It’s very, very low tech, and I try to keep it easy. I plan for a month at a time. I like to do one huge shopping trip per month then pick up items from time to time that we run out of or that expire/spoil quickly like milk and fruits.
I start with my master list of dinner meals to choose from. I add meals occasionally when I discover a new fabulous recipe. I really enjoy trying new recipes, but I don’t often get around to: 1) finding a recipe and 2) getting the ingredients to make it.
I choose 16 dinner meals for the month. That gives me around 4 meals per week. I try to make almost every meal last for two days so I usually have more than enough food for the month.
I then make a list of all the ingredients I need to purchase to make the meals I’ve chosen. I also add all the breakfast, lunch, and miscellaneous things we need. I typically keep a list going all month long and just add items to it as we run out/low so I don’t have to go sifting through everything in my cupboard come grocery shopping day.
I organize the list items with how the store is laid out so it’s easy to make sure I’ve got everything I need without having to backtrack (something you never EVER want to do in Winco). It’s one horribly long and arduous shopping trip, but once it’s done you don’t have to do it again for another whole month. Yay!
Do you have a system you use for meal planning? I’d love to hear it!