Meal Planning 2.0

Meal PLan 2

So I’m HUGE on meal planning.
{huge i tell you!}
I wrote about it back in 2011 and most of that still rings true, but my methods have tweaked a bit in the last 2 years.

I was having a group text conversation with 2 dear (nameless) friends a few weeks ago regarding what to cook for a last minute dinner guest, this turned into a Friends-worthy exchange involving said hostess and a flaming beer and bacon meatloaf.
In the midst of us laughing, guiding the hostess to a Ron Swanson worthy meatloaf, and worrying about grease fires, the conversation turned to how I plan my meals.

I have about 30 meals in my rotation, and that is about it.
I rarely try new recipes, and when I do, I cook them repeatedly, making changes each time, until I’ve got them perfected.
If I try a meal and it’s a total failure, has no promise, or I’m the only person willing to consume it, it gets scrapped.

So here is where the methods have changed since this post: I no longer write the menu on the fridge, mostly because I was the only one who referenced the list and keeping it in my planner made much more sense than having it somewhere separate.

My planner {which i affectionately refer to as my life} houses my 2 week meal plan, the 30ish meals currently in rotation, and any promising meals I want to try in the near future (read next 6 months).

 Dinner Rotation

I created a couple of planner pages specifically for this purpose.
I have each meal written on Post-It page markers and loosely {very, very loosely} categorized by color (blue is poultry, yellow is meat, pink is fish and green is vegetarian).
When I make my menu plan I just rotate the post-it notes to the Menu Plan page.
I plan for 2 weeks now because it makes grocery shopping easier.
Since moving to Ft. Rucker I joined an organic produce co-op {which i love and geek out over regularly} so I get fresh produce weekly without hitting up the Commissary.
When I do grocery shop, I still plug the meals into MealBoard because it automatically generates my shopping list based on the ingredients for each meal.

Meal Plan

My little clan doesn’t need a ton of variety in the menu, and we tend to eat Mexican food 2-3 nights a week and some knock-off Asian cuisine at least 1 night a week.
Everyone loves it, the meals are well balanced, and I try to base the menu off of similar ingredients to keep the cost low.

 There are several meals in the rotation of 30 that I really only cook for special occasions or if we have company over.
As much as I love cooking {and eating} my lasagna with fontina cheese sauce, it isn’t exactly economical for the pocket book or the waist line.

So there it is, meal planning 2.0!
I hope it’s helpful!

  1 comment for “Meal Planning 2.0

  1. 01.23.2014 at 15:56

    brilliant. AND I laughed out loud.

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