My Method: Weekly Meal Planning

September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

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This is your typical Sunday morning- coffee in hand, pen and paper, and a stack of Bon Appétit magazines. It’s meal planning time! As I was sitting down to do it this week, I thought you guys might be curious to see my process. It’s nothing too complicated, but it makes getting dinner on the table  and not letting the food in our fridge go bad during the week much easier.

I generally let my farmer’s market purchases guide our weekly menu. I like to pick what looks best that week and go from there. I get all our produce at our Saturday market so that come Sunday I know what I’ve got to work with and what I need to buy at the grocery store to round out the week. This week I picked up bell peppers, tons of broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, and a bunch of apples. I’ve got two dinners out this week and Brandon is headed out of town so I didn’t want to overdo it.

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I start by outlining all the items I’ve got to work with- from veggies to pantry and freezer, and any other little tid bits that will help me figure out what I need to get from the store. Like breakfast and snacks- I want to make sure we have enough to last us through the week.

After reviewing what I’ve got, I start crafting meals. Seeing all the ingredients I have on hand listed side by side helps me create meals that minimize the additional items I need to buy, and plan enough meals for the week. This makes life so much easier! The chicken and broccoli dish was for Sunday. I knew we’d have a few leftovers, but we’d need something else to round out lunches. A quinoa black bean salad was a no brainer, given what I had on hand. I have a ton of peanut butter in my cupboard since I accidentally bought a jar when I already had a full jar, so I decided a big batch of peanut noodles for dinner one night would be perfect. Plus, it’d use up any remaining veggies, and give us enough for leftovers. And the roasted apples are kind of just for fun- a riff on a recipe shown in the first photo!

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I’v always got a pile of lettuce or dark greens on hand which become side salads pretty much every night of the week, and help round out a lunch that isn’t too veggie heavy. Three meals (with leftovers built in) seem to be our magic number, leaving us with enough food to get us to the weekend. Weekends we do most of our eating out, hence the Saturday/Sunday planning schedule.

That’s pretty much it! I’d love to know, how do you guys meal plan? Anyone else highlight the ingredients they need to buy? Control freak, right this way!

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