Meal plan organisation helps me to keep track of what we are eating, food and grocery shopping and also helps me feed my family mostly in a healthy way whilst being a working and homeschooling parent. I didn’t used to meal plan, and we would just go to the supermarket and buy whatever we felt like it but we have found meal planning a sensible way to reduce waste, keep us within a food budget and also helps me to not get stressed.
I loathe supermarket shopping, unless we are in France, when I love it, but the husband loves it. He is brutally organised and takes pride in being in and out of the shops in a fast and efficient way and so he does the grocery shopping. He prefers it that way, partly I suspect because he knows if I went with him we would end up with all sorts of random bits of homeware (Aldi specials anyone?) and things we don’t really need.
We have a system that keeps us in tight shape. It’s been fine tuned and works fairly well.
I am an little retentive about keeping our pantry organised. It might not look as tidy as some Pinterest perfect images you will see but it’s fairly easy to find what we need and what we eat and keep track. I tend to do most of the cooking because I am home earlier from work or work at home, whilst homeschooling so I plan the meals.
We keep track of what we run out of, with a list that we write on, in the kitchen.
I use a meal planner calendar and shopping list app to make notes of the meals I want to make for the week, activities where we might be eating out, and things we need. Extras like planning for the teen doing food tech classes at school, lunches for work and feeding guests are also included.
The husband has a master copy of the shopping list on his phone that we share via an app between us (this only works for us because we use an app that works on iPhone and we can coordinate but there are lots of apps that can be shared. Anylist is a great app and you can add your own recipes to build shopping and planning lists.
We then sit down and plan shopping. If we can’t sit down and plan, I will write out what we need and extras that might not be on the list and he compiles the weekly list and off he goes.
It might seem a bit faffy but it really works. We don’t overspend on our groceries because we get what we need and it reduces random trips to the shops to get things, and because I stick to what we plan, mostly we don’t waste as much food as we used to. I also find it useful to plan for lunches so we spend less on sundry eating out too. With food allergies and preferences to factor in, meal planning is a must for us. I don’t think I could ever go back to not planning. Meal planning for us reduces food waste, and saves us money on our food budget, and is a helpful way to keep us on track spending and eating wise too.
Doris & Fred have some great planning and meal planning organisers on their site, too, I have just ordered this one to help us make notes and plan better.
Do you plan meals? We share what we eat and the food we love on Pinterest, feel free to follow us, we are always looking for meal plan organisation and food ideas.