T4B107: How We Meal Plan

May 26, 2016

Do you meal plan?

In Episode 107, we share how we meal plan. Do you need to get back on the meal planning bandwagon? Here’s how we go about planning and the benefits for our family.

Click on the play button at the top or download this in iTunes or on Stitcher Radio (and don’t forget to leave a review – it really makes our day!)

In this episode we share our process with you. Here is the outline…

  1. Consider what your week looks like. When do you shop? When are you home? Are some days busier than others?For us… we go to the markets on Saturday morning, and go to the grocery store on Tuesdays. We try to minimise trips outside of these times so as to stick to our grocery budget, and avoid wasted time.
  2. Give each day a theme. Here are our themes:
    Monday: Curry / Casserole
    Tuesday: Steak + Side Dish
    Wednesday: Leftovers from ‘The 4 Blades Cooking Day’, or a pre-made frozen meal
    Thursday: Poultry or Seafood + Side Dish
    Friday night: Pizza Night, using the grainfree pizza dough recipe
    Saturday night: Mince / Wings
    Sunday night: Roast + Side DishWe also have space to make 3 snacks (soups, dips, finger foods etc), and some regular items.Our regular items include:

3. Create your library of meals that suit your family. For us that means recipes without grains, sugar and dairy. We simply went through every issue of the magazine and recorded everything that would work for our family that fit the following categories (by the way, there were heaps!):

  • Roasts
  • Casseroles and Curries
  • Sides and Salads
  • Poultry / Seafood
  • Mince / Wings
  • Fridge Snacks

Here is our spreadsheet: 

For a Numbers (Mac) copy, click here. 

For an Excel copy, click here. 

4. Fill in the table with meals from your library to last for 4 weeks. We find it easier to have the week in the table run from Saturday – Friday to correspond with our Saturday morning trip to the farmer’s market. You can move things around to make it work for you.

Here is our table: 

For a Pages (Mac) copy, click here.

For a PDF copy, click here. 

5. To maintain – you can reuse the same 4 week plan, or you can create a new 4 week plan! Or, half and half… keep the meals you LOVED and switch some of the spots with new meals you would like to try. When a new issue comes out, simply go through the mag issue and add to the spreadsheet.

Here’s what we have found…

  • By reducing the decision making, we have more time and energy for other things.
  • Joe is loving not being hangry (not a typo) and not having taste fatigue.
  • Meal planning like this works well for our budget (by the way, we use YNAB)

Do you meal plan? What are your hot tips? Leave us a note in the comments below! 

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