Friday, August 1, 2014

How I Meal Plan

To help keep my sanity in check, I try to go with a different meal theme each day so that I have some kind of routine. Here is my general guide to how I meal plan- with a little help from a fantastic website.

Our week usually looks like this.

Monday: Meatless Dish
Tuesday: Fish Dish
Wednesday: Chicken Dish
Thursday: Crock-Pot
Friday: Family Fun Night (with a themed menu and activity)
Saturday: Pasta Dish
Sunday: Family Favourites

On Sunday, we also have a special family breakfast together- usually scrambled eggs or pancakes as the kids can help to cook them but I am looking to change this up a bit so we have other options. What do you like to have for a family breakfast that young children can help to prepare? I need some new ideas!

Most weekends I also bake for the week ahead, and I also bake something for preschool on a Wednesday.

A lot of our Friday and Sunday night meals are red meat based, in case you were wondering, and we also have a few red meat favourites for the Crock Pot.

For example, this week the plan is:

Monday: Cheesy Leek Risotto
Tuesday: Thai Curried Fish with Spiced Rice and corn kernels
Wednesday: Chinese Lemon Chicken with rice and broccoli
Thursday: Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Friday: Swedish Meatballs with Miss Piggy Cupcakes (Muppets Movie night)
Saturday: Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Cajun steamed vegetables
Sunday: Sausage Hash Brown Bake

For baking, I made Peanut Butter Banana Swirl Bread and Oddfellow Roll.

How do I keep track of my meal plan and shopping list? I use a website called Plan To Eat.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

You can import recipes from the internet or type out your own favourites, then drag them into a weekly or monthly planner. This automatically creates a shopping list for you, which you can edit if you already have the necessary ingredients. I love that you can adjust the list- for example, I have mine done by aisles so I am efficient when I go to the store, but you can have it done by categories such as produce, meat, dairy etc or make the shopping list into whatever subcategories you choose. You can also have categories for your recipes, so I have separated mine by the themes listed above. The other thing I like about Plan To Eat is that you can also have a staples grocery list for things you buy every time you go shopping, and have them separate or merge them into your planned shopping list.

We usually eat the same things for breakfasts and lunches as well as snacks, so I have put them into my staples grocery list and also made them into meals on my Plan To eat menu, with labels such as preschool Lunch and snack options, to effortlessly migrate those items such as yoghurt, fruit and muesli bars to my shopping list.

Finally, to stop everyone asking "what's for dinner?", I write up the weekly menu on my new Magnetic Chalkboard, which was released today! (I got to play with it a couple of weeks in advance, and I love how it looks in my kitchen. Plus I can put memos, notices and receipts on there too.

I hope this helps you to do some meal planning too, this method certainly takes the stress out of feeding my family each week.

NB: I was not reimbursed in any way for my Plan To Eat review, it is just the method that I use and love!


  1. I do a weekly meal plan and love how you do a different theme for each day. We usually do breakfast once a week and I have a Pinterest folder with several meals I can choose from... but, one that you might want to try is German Pancakes with fruit on top! Yum! The family fun dinner night sounds like a lot of fun, but I am not sure if I could figure out what to do every week for that. We usually do a movie night with pizza every so often and we let the kids eat on the couch for a change in their sleeping bags and we stay up a little late to watch the movie.

  2. Lauren, you are so ridiculously organised, you put me to shame! Do you really factor in a fun themed night every week? I'm going to shut this post down right now in case one of my kids should think to read it and demand I make Miss Piggy cupcakes immediately!

    1. Usually our theme is based on what we have been learning about during the week- although sometimes we end up with takeaways or chicken nuggets and chips and play a board game or watch a movie!

  3. Meal planning can save dinner and the budget! Thanks for sharing yout methods!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!


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