Recipes & Meal Planning

Meal planning has always been an off-and-on effort for me. Some weeks go great: I plan the meals, DH does the grocery shopping (he really enjoys it… I had to learn to let him do it), we do the cooking together and it all works out. But some weeks–and it seems like this happens more often than not–we have work events, meet-ups with friends, or some other event that throws off the schedule and we end up either ordering out or throwing together something unhealthy like box mac n’ cheese (sometimes we put broccoli in… I still don’t think that passes for healthy).

The worst part is, it’s not like meal planning is that hard to do. Fifteen minutes with a cookbook (or the internet) and a piece of paper and we’re done! I usually have a general idea of what ingredients we have in the kitchen/fridge and with the plethora of resources out there (books, magazines, websites, Google!), it shouldn’t be that hard. I still haven’t figured out exactly why I don’t take care of this task at the beginning of every week, but I’m pretty sure the reason has to do with the fact that it’s not a habit yet. I’d like to amend that (again — this was a resolution last year).

After a quick skim of Pinterest, I thought a fun way to get my brain into this habit would be coming up with some fun meal-planning and recipe card designs. There are plenty out there for free download, but I wanted something I made myself (it goes against the grain to use someone else’s design when I can create my own). So here’s what I came up with:

I’m still trying to decide which of these I want to actually print and use with this acrylic recipe box, but I think I’ll be more inclined to save recipes with these personalized cards. And for meal planning, I started with the preliminary template below, but I might end up adjusting for something less complicated (just dinners) — planning out all meals is still a bit of a reach.

Have you discovered a meal-planning tactic that works well for you? Any recommended books, recipes or websites?

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