Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Organizing meal planning so anyone can do it when I get too busy

I am too busy to plan meals sometimes during the school year. Traditionally, I have always been the one to cook the meals, so I plan and make the grocery lists and often do the shopping. Luckily, my husband can do the shopping part on his own and often does if I make him a list. The planning of meals is complicated by my being vegan though also because I took over the cooking almost 10 years ago. My husband is fully capable in the kitchen, and seems happy enough to cook but like many young girls in love I think I was overly eager to prove my homemaking skills early on and thus the traditional roll became established.

To tackle this roll I created for myself, I thought up a way to simplify to planning process. Menu planning is important because not planning results in multiple trips to the grocery store when we don't have time, or take out when we don't have money. It can also lead to more expensive meals at home and more food waste.

First I separated my freezer door into 7 sections to represent days of the week. They were big sections so I made enough spots to plan for 2 weeks just in case. I used painters tape, hopefully it doesn't fall off but it seems stable so far. I used my fancy label maker to mark each day.



The next step was a bit more work. I wrote out the ingredients to the most common meals we eat and put them on cards (which I typed and printed out to look official I guess?)


Ingredient cards are kept in a basket on the side of the fridge with a note pad. When anyone wants to make a meal plan they just pick the meals, stick them to the right days with magnets then write the ingredients on the note pad. So the process takes a bit of effort at first but is super easy once implemented. 


I just have to make some lunch and breakfast cards and we'll be all set.