meal planning made easy

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Have I mentioned I hate meal planning? I’m going to blame my taste buds on this one. I am totally okay with bland food. Eating peanut butter on bread for dinner is just fine for me. Plain noodles? Sure.

So when it comes to meal planning, the thought of deciding on interesting foods just isn’t that exciting to me. Don’t get me wrong, I actually do love well-seasoned foods and great flavor, I just don’t care if something is bland either. Whatever you stick in front of me, I’ll probably eat.

But when you have a family to cook for or enjoy having people over for dinner, dishing up spoonfuls of PB with a side of chips and salsa is not going to go over well.

So over the last 5 years of marriage I’ve tried to figure out meal planning. We’ve also been vegan (minus most of my pregnancy) for the last few years, so that adds a fun dynamic.

Happily, VERY happily, I like my meal planning system, thanks to a little board I created on Pinterest called “Menu for this Week.”

Each Sunday while I’m sitting on the couch feeding Baby Girl I peruse the web and Pinterest for main dishes that sounds appealing. I take into consideration our schedule for the week as well. Are we super busy, or do I have an hour for a meal to cook?

When I find something I like, I pin it to this board. If I don’t want to find a new recipe, I peruse my other boards, “Mains and Sides” or “Soup.” I simply edit the pin and move it over to the “Meals for the Week” board.

My goal is usually about 5 main dishes, which leaves room for eating leftovers or those nights where we are craving a veggie burger and homemade fries.

Do we eat side dishes in our household? Hmmmm….not really. We are more of a one-pot, one big main dish kind of family who will have an evening snack of popcorn, fruit, chips and salsa, or maybe even vegan ice cream a few hours after dinner.

But you would never guess this if you come over. I up my game for company and dream up a side dish. Lucky ducks.

After I’ve made the meal, I click on my pin and move it over to the “Mains and Sides” or “Soup” board. This naturally empties out my board each week and tells me what I have left to cook.

This also helps my grocery list. I can easily pull up the pins, write down the ingredients that I need, and make sure we have them  on hand.

Working mom + terrible taste buds. This system is winning for me!
What’s your meal planning system?

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