One of my goals for 2018 is to do more meal planning. So what does that look like? I LOVE reading about food. I have magazine subscriptions, shelves of cookbooks, and the internet at my disposal. It can all get overwhelming when I sit down to plan out our meals, so I thought I would take you through my process.
My Meal Planning Process
Throughout the week, I save links for recipes that look interesting from Facebook, Pinterest, and a couple of blogs that I read regularly. On Saturdays when I meal plan, I go back to these ideas and delete any links that no longer sound good. You know how you shouldn’t grocery shop while hungry? I say the same about saving recipe links. If I didn’t go through this paring down process, I would have 5700 recipes for cupcakes… If I think it still looks good, but I’m not going to make it this week, it usually ends up on my Pinterest board.
One recipe site I’m loving lately is Yummly. It is a giant collection of recipes from blogs and websites. You can “Yum” the recipes that look good and organize them for later.
Tried and true
Of course, we all have an arsenal of family favorites or basics that we make. Things that we make without a recipe or much thought. The same is true for me. I absolutely don’t have time to try out new recipes and ingredients every night. Some nights, dinner is a piece of baked fish and a simple salad or vegetable. Some nights I like to get more complicated and pull out a staple like my air fryer wings. These are on tap for this week.
Cookbooks and magazines
Maybe I am weird, but I like to go read cookbooks. When I have a free afternoon, I will flip through a cookbook or read a food magazine for inspiration. Mr. LLA insists that I pare down my magazine collection so the house doesn’t start to look like an episode of Hoarders. I usually read a magazine a time or two and then pull out the recipes that I think I will actually ever use and put them in a binder. The binder makes good reading material too.
After I have a basic idea for the week, I run it by Mr. LLA. He usually shoots down a couple of my ideas and we add in things he is craving too. Once we have a meal plan, I make a grocery list for any ingredients we are missing. When the printer cooperates, I hang the meal plan on the fridge. This helps me remember what to pack for lunches, and if something comes up during the week, we can easily swap out days on the meal plan if need to.
What about you? What are your favorite sources for meal ideas? Please share in the comments below.