I’ve been meal planning for several years. It’s one of the biggest factors in my success losing over 70 pounds. When I have a plan to follow, I always have healthy ingredients in the house which keeps my healthy eating on track. Since I started using a Bullet Journal, my meal planning has gotten even easier.
I started out by brainstorming a list of some of my family’s favorite meals. This is going to be an ongoing list that I keep adding to as we try new recipes.
Next, I created a simple Meal Planning template with a space for each day of the week, one for meal prep, and one for a shopping list. I knew I was going to use post-it notes, so I drew the boxes according to those sizes. I put this layout at the front of my Bullet Journal so it’s easy to find. I just replace the post-its every week, so I don’t have to redraw the spread until I move into a new journal!
I like having the shopping list post-it available to add items to when I think of them throughout the week.
- Start out by deciding if there are any days you’ll be eating dinner away from home. We usually have date night on Friday, and eat leftovers one day of the week, so I put those in first.
- I try a couple new recipes each week, so I scan Pinterest or the recipes I’ve saved in Copy Me That (read more about this below!) I put the new recipes on days that I know I’ll have time to cook.
- Then I scan our favorites list and quickly fill in the other days.
I also like to do some simple meal prep ahead of time to make my week easier. I usually cook some sort of protein to have on hand, cook a big pot of steel-cut oats, bake sweet potatoes, cook quinoa, make a big salad to eat from all week, and cut up veggies for snacks. Having these few staples ready to go makes a big difference in the amount of time I have to spend cooking.
I look through the recipes I have planned for the week and write down anything I could possibly do ahead of time on the meal prep section of this layout.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks
I keep a few staples on hand that I know we eat most often for breakfast and snacks. For breakfast, I usually eat oatmeal or avocado and eggs on toast. For lunch it’s usually veggies and hummus or cottage cheese, fruit and almond butter, or fruit and cheese.
For lunch, I always eat leftovers if we have them. If not, I’ll eat a salad with some protein on top or occasionally a wrap of some sort. All of these things are ingredients we always have, so I don’t really have to add them to my meal plan in my Bullet Journal, but you totally could create a more detailed layout that includes the other meals.
One thing I’ve found helpful is to create a master grocery list with the items you buy every week. I have that list saved in Copy me That so I always have it when I’m at the store.
Copy Me That
Copy Me That is an amazing FREE site that allows you to save recipes you find online. It has a similar visual style to Pinterest. There is a web clipper tool you can put in your menu bar so that anytime you find a recipe you want to save online, you just click the web clipper and it saves it to your recipes in Copy Me That.
Here’s a picture of what your recipe board looks like.
You’re probably wondering, why would I use that when I can just use Pinterest!?
The most helpful part of Copy Me That is the shopping list function! You can add all the recipes you’re making to your shopping list and it organizes them for you. You can sort your list by category or by recipe which makes shopping super organized.
There’s even a phone app! Here’s a screenshot of a shopping list on my phone. You can mark off the items as you get them at the grocery store.
Meal Planning Tips
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re meal planning:
- Have one central place to save all your recipes.
- When brainstorming your list of family favorites, make sure to ask your family members.
- Consider having theme nights to make it even easier. (Monday – Soup, Tuesday – Taco night, Wednesday – Casserole, Thursday – Chicken, Friday – Pizza, Saturday – Breakfast for Dinner)
- Never go to the grocery store without a list. You’ll spend more money and still wonder what you’re going to eat.
- Check your freezer and pantry to see what foods you already have on hand before you start your plan.
- Have a leftover night. Your kids will survive, I promise.
- Prep a few basic ingredients once a week.
- Consider rotating through only a few options for breakfast, lunch, and snacks to make planning easier.
Related posts you might like:
Plan with Me: August Bullet Journal Setup
Weekly Bullet Journal Layout Ideas
Plan with Me: June Bullet Journal Setup
How I use my Bullet Journal to set 90 Day Goals
Plan with Me: July Bullet Journal Setup
Bullet Journal Tips