Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meal Plan Plan {i.e. planning to make a plan}

I am big on organizational intentions and not much on follow through. 
That's because I'm  lazy right brained, creative, and spontaneous. 
It's been a helpful thing to recognize this and learn to adapt my plans to this reality. 

Here's how I compensate for my loss of motivation in follow-through: 
keep it super-simple.

For me this involves thinking through the spaces in our home, how we use them, 
and what super-simple things I could do to maintain them. 

This is our entry/mud room/music room (below). 
Like most of the spaces in our home it does double and triple-duty. After tripping on backpacks, music bags, and shoes for years, we finally realized we needed a place, right here by the door, to keep these things.  
I'd love to have a long bench with cubbies and cute little chalkboard tags, a hook for each member of the family, and a shelf to display lovely storage-y items.  Instead I have a big basket and a wooden crate. 
It's super-simple. It works. 

Meal planning is similar. There are a few necessary steps: deciding which meals to make, 
grocery shopping, thawing/prepping early in the day, making and serving the meal. 
I used to get stalled after and even during the shopping part. 
Something about the implementation broke-down and I bought things I thought we would eat 
but didn't have a plan for, my meats were never thawed at the right time, 
and I still felt at a loss in knowing on any given day what to make for dinner.

Here's my simple solution:

1. Make a long list of meals our family eats and use this as reference while meal planning. (I keep this on my computer.) What a relief not to have to come up with meals from my scattered and uncooperative memory.

2. Look at the weather and our weekly schedule and plan meals that work for this week. (I am pretty moody when it comes to cooking and I know I'm not going to want a roast when it's warm outside.)

3. Write down which meal will be made on which day. I write mine on the chalkboard in the kitchen. That way I don't have to make a decision each day about what we will have for dinner. There's a default, super-simple list already in place to tell me what needs to be thawed or prepped or what have you.

4. Shop for those specific meals and try not to impulse-buy. (Especially at Costco!)

This works for me. What works for you?

{P.S. This week's meal plan is already on the wall.}


  1. Well, you seem pretty darn organized to me! When I made weekly meal plans, I usually left at least one night open...for leftovers or going to someone's house unexpectedly or I'm-just-too-tired-to-make-an-actual-meal-tonight/eggs & toast. We've had a lot of those latter meals lately!

  2. Yep, I leave two nights open for spontaneity, plus Tuesday Date Nights are a bit of a cheat. And we had breakfast-for-dinner tonight!


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