Friday, May 1, 2015

Meal Planning II- Two Weeks at a time

Hey there.  I've been busy wrangling my kids, walking my pooch, and cleaning my house (And doing laundry.  There's always so much laundry...)   but I wanted to share the new way I do meal planning.  Well it's not so much new as perfected from last fall.

With the spring soccer season in full swing and my daughters both in rehearsals for local theater productions I've opted to simplify as much as I can.  Planning two weeks at a time just makes more sense.   I'm making basic meals, many without recipes.  (So no vintage creations for a while longer.)  I organize my grocery shopping so that I buy everything in one or two big trips.  My master grocery list is on a spreadsheet.  Hubby just about cracked up when I asked him to help me set it up.  This is just so not me.  I like short shopping lists on cute family stationery with my kids' names under their stick figures.    Now I whiz thru the store with the spreadsheet clipped to a clipboard and a pen clenched between my teeth.  I must say I look like a boss in my black yoga pants and mom bun.  Unfortunately this look rarely makes it to a yoga class.

Here's a pic of our meal plan for April 26 thru May 8th.  It goes with my hubby's pay periods so it's not exactly in the beginning or middle of the month.  I only plan dinners.  Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are simple- leftovers or whatever one likes.

I still use the binder I showed in my meal planning video but there haven't been any new recipe additions in a long time.  Luckily I've built it up enough that everyone is relatively happy with our meals.  (And if not I remind them that I'm not a short order cook.  I'm a boss.  With a bun...)

Here's the accompanying  master grocery list.  I do one big trip the first week and another the second. I still may run in to buy a little unanticipated something (or a sale item) but for the most part this is it.

The prices are to help me stay on budget and the highlight colors tell me what to buy at which store.  I started crossing things off but stopped when I thought about doing this post so you could actually read it.  The best thing I ever did was to list the items according to categories.  Helps me whiz faster thru the store and there's less room for error.

How do you meal plan?  Does it change with the seasons or the school year?

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying spring.  It finally feels like it here in the midwest.  :)



  1. Hi Sarah!

    My daughter does meal planning a month at a time, I think. She and her husband have 4 kids and it saves her sanity! She'll do roughly the same meals every week like tacos on Mondays, a chicken dish on Tuesdays, spaghetti on Wednesdays, etc. Then the same the next week. She said it works out great and saves her time and stress. I'm not sure if she changes it up every month, though.

    I tried doing that but my husband balked at the sameness every week. And sometimes he will come home late from work which messes with dinner plans. So now I just have a general idea when I shop and try to be flexible during the week. This works for us since it's just the two of us.

    But about your spreadsheet, I've been wanting to do one pertaining to the layout of my grocery store. Do you know what I mean? During the week I will jot down what we run out of or whatever we need/want on a notepad and take that with me when I shop. But inevitably, since it's randomly written down I frequently have to backtrack down the aisles because I will overlook an item. I want to make a spreadsheet to where I can list what I need according to the store layout as I first walk into the store and continue through the store. I think that will save me time and frustration.


    1. Hi, Aileen! I tried to do like your daughter does but my hubby is like yours- gets bored with the same things. I don't do the layout list. Seems like if I do it by category that's enough to keep me on track.

      Thanks for commenting!! :)