Meal planning by the year….what on earth?

First of all, I know. Does this not sound like the craziest thing on earth? To answer that rhetorical question, yes. Yes it does. So why am I doing this to myself? Stick with me for a minute.

You might be sitting here thinking “I don’t have the mental capacity for that. I’ve had cheerios every single day for breakfast for the past 17 years and I still don’t even know what I’m going to eat for breakfast tomorrow.” Or you’re thinking “I’m WAY too busy to plan that far ahead. I have no choice but to wing it.” OR “meal planning is for organized people and I am SO not organized.”

Well stop right there, partner, because those are ALL the things I’ve thought. And still think. So why the heck am I doing this?? Allow me…

  1. I really want to BE a little more organized. And I want to help you. I can’t tell you the amount of pins I have on my “Organize Yourself” Pinterest board. I have saved every free home-binder/calendar/cleaning printable from sea to shining sea, yet I feel like none of them have or will ever work for me. They are made for the people who already remember to order their 2018 day planners sometime before March of 2018. (And thank you, Jesus, for these people because *spoiler alert* if you want to do this with me, you’ll need to print out a 2018 calendar, and they are already abounding on Pinterest. Bless her heart, one blogger said she was “late” in finishing up her 2018 printables. I love her.) No matter where you are on the Type A to Type B spectrum, I want this to be something ANYONE can do.
  1. I want to see if it will actually save money. I mean, I know it will, but up until this point I’ve had to trust the good word of the couponers and the people who seem to know grocery store sale cycles better than the phases of the moon.
  2. Logistics, really. I’m expecting a third baby in February and it’s just not desirable to up and haul three kids to the store 3 times a week because I didn’t plan ahead.
  3. Because I’m busy with the wrong things. I love to cook for my family and I want to enjoy it. I want to free up mental space to do other things with my family. I want to pop a freezer meal in the oven on a Friday night instead of digging through the fridge for whatever I can scrounge together.

Okay lady, you don’t have to justify your crazy to me, I just want to know how you’re gonna do this.

FINE. Today you get step 1. And a bonus step 2.

First, make a list of everything you know how to cook. Every meal you make. From fancy family favorites to just-add-water pancakes. Hot dogs count. So does a box of mac n cheese. So does chicken Caesar salad. So does your Aunt Susan’s famous beef stew. Write down the latest new recipe you tried, loved, and want to keep in the rotation. Don’t just write down breakfast for dinner, write down French toast. Write down sausage and hashbrowns. Write down bacon and pancakes. BOOM. See that? Breakfast for dinner just became three different meals.

When we talk about feeding ourselves I feel like the most common complaint is that we feel stuck in a rut and like we’re always making the same things. I guarantee writing down alllll of your meals will  allow you to breathe a little sigh of relief and see that even though it feels like you’re making spaghetti twice a week, you actually have 30 other meals in your arsenal and with a little bit of planning, you don’t have to make it more than once a month! (Unless you want to ;))

That’s all the homework I have for you today. If you want, print out a 2018 calendar like the one here, or search Pinterest for something you like. (This is for a rough draft and doesn’t have to be fancy so I suggest something simple that won’t waste ink. You can even just print out a calendar template from Microsoft Word and call it good.) We’ll be talking about next steps over the next couple weeks so be on the look out for the next post in this series, or I think there’s a way to subscribe and have it sent to your inbox!

4 thoughts on “Meal planning by the year….what on earth?”

  1. This is genius and I need to do it. Have been thinking about a 30 day meal rotation instead of trying to come up with “new” th inhs every week.

  2. Very interesting!! I’m wondering how this will work. At the moment I shop and “meal plan” based on sales, coupons and cash back apps. But even I don’t know what we’re having tomorrow… we have options for the week and I’m like sir mix-a-lot with whipping up the next meal. But if you’re saying I would know now what I’m having on January 12th …. is it for real?! How do the savings work? More importantly….will I get bored?!

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