September 30, 2023


Healthy Life

How Do You Preserve Monitor of Your Meal Plan Concepts?

21 min read

Staying on Prime of Your Meal Planning Concepts

I not too long ago obtained an excellent query about meal planning. So, as a substitute of my typical Friday meal plan, I am sharing it right here with everybody…

Query: I’m having issue with meal planning. I can discover meals I wish to cook dinner after which I make a grocery checklist. I come residence and put all of the meals away. Then I neglect what I deliberate. I can not discover a correct method to write this down so I can use it. It sounds foolish and but it shouldn’t be so tough. What am I doing flawed?

Has this ever occurred to you?

It has me!

It is an excellent query, proper?

You peer into the fridge and see a package deal of rooster or floor beef, a package deal of shredded cabbage and couple of zucchini and you don’t have any thought what you supposed to do with them.

Otherwise you noticed a recipe for an excellent soup and purchased the substances, however know you do not keep in mind the place you noticed the recipe.

Printed meal plan on paper with pen.

Printed meal plan

How do you retain observe of the recipes you’re planning to make with the groceries you carry residence?


How Do You Preserve Monitor of Your Meal Plan Concepts?

Listed below are a few strategies that may assist…

1. Print off the recipes and go away them in a file folder in your kitchen.

2. Make a listing of the recipes and the place they’re situated and place it in your fridge. That is what I do. On a big yellow post-it observe I jot down recipes I plan to make with what I’ve bought.

Refrigerator Meal Idea with Ingredients on yellow sticky note.

Yellow sticky observe on fridge

My checklist would possibly appear to be:

  • Sluggish Cooker Cabbage Bean Soup – Easy Nourished Dwelling web site
  • Bacon Tomato Cheddar Frittata – Consolation Meals Favorites eCookbook web page 9
  • Baked Rooster Nuggets – Consolation Meals Favorites eCookbook web page 10
  • Sluggish Cooker Pepper Steak – Skinny Sluggish Cooker Recipes eCookbook, web page 47
  • Trisha Yearwood Orzo Salad Made Lighter – Easy Nourished Dwelling web site
Orzo Salad with chopped peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and garbanzo beans in glass bowl.

Trisha Yearwood Orzo Salad Made Weight Watchers Pleasant

Do you will have every other strategies for preserving observe of the recipes/dishes you’re planning to make with the groceries you carry residence?

Readers’ Solutions for Holding Monitor of Your Meal Plan Concepts:

#1) I plan the week’s menus on a white board, left within the kitchen so my husband can see it and (hopefully) not eat my substances. I additionally use recipe playing cards, and go away them out so I can shortly entry them the night I am cooking. – Kathryn

#2) Martha – we’ve got been meal planning like this for a 12 months now. It helps with groceries, and likewise meal prep on the day. I want to recollect what to drag out of the freezer, or to prep the night time earlier than.

Many of the meals that I discover on-line – similar to Slender Kitchen – or in cookbooks, I placed on the notes part. I additionally place the recipes on Pinterest that I’ve curiosity in – after which transfer them to CopyMeThat when I’ve made them.

Your website, since I discovered it a month or so in the past, has turn out to be invaluable in each my planning and cooking, as I’m on Weight Watchers. 15 kilos down, and counting! Thanks! – Karen C.

Karen's Weight Watchers weekly meal plan printout

#3) I exploit an 8-½ x 11 sheet of paper and write down the times of the week and underneath every day I checklist what I plan to repair for dinner. I often plan out for 2 weeks at a time. I bought the Month of Meal Plan eBook which I exploit for concepts for dinner. I do not all the time use the meals listed, nevertheless it offers me a very good basis for meal planning. – Donna

#4) I exploit quite a lot of Pinterest recipes and was having the identical downside discovering the recipes once I was needing them, I created a folder “this week’s meals” and saved the recipes into there. As soon as I used to be finished with it I may delete it out.

If I wish to preserve the recipe for future use I put it aside into one other appropriately labeled folder the place will probably be straightforward to seek out once more. This has labored very nicely for these Pinterest recipes and has saved paper and ink over printing them out after which throwing them away. – Belinda

#5) I put my menu on one half of my paper, my grocery checklist on the opposite. I exploit completely different coloured pens for every distinctive meal. So Monday’s spaghetti may be crimson. Tuesday’s tacos, inexperienced and so on. I exploit the identical shade pen when including gadgets to my grocery checklist. I add test marks if an merchandise is used for a number of meals. Black for the final gadgets. The colours make it somewhat extra enjoyable.

However the cause it helps essentially the most is as a result of if I alter my thoughts a few meal as soon as I get to the shop, (it occurs. Do not choose), I do know what gadgets went with that meal and both preserve or cross them off with out getting them. The colours assist at residence too. I do know which meal I purchased a selected merchandise for, so I do not use it for one thing else. This possibly sounds extra difficult than it’s in actual life, nevertheless it works for me. Thanks for persevering with to share your menu concepts. They’re such a assist. – Marie

#6) Hello there. I’ve a pair issues I do – I generally choose a cookbook for the week. I choose a number of meals and put tabs on the pages with the day I plan to make it, and make my purchasing checklist as I’m going.

When it is time to cook dinner, I simply discover the tab for that day. Different instances I exploit varied Web sites and take a display shot of the recipe on my iPad. Once more, make a purchasing checklist as you intend. A easy checklist of the recipes and a notation that it is on the iPad is all that is wanted—your sticky observe on the fridge would work for this. Hope this helps somebody! – Jan R.

#7) I’ve a pair binders of free recipes in addition to cookbooks. If I’m making a binder recipe, I take away it. I then plan my menu for the week and use a month-to-month calendar, jotting what I’ll make for the day and if it is a cookbook recipe, title and web page quantity. I then compile my purchasing checklist. This has labored extraordinarily nicely for me and I do not waste meals anymore.

I preserve the calendar and recipes on prime of my microwave and test it day by day to see if meals wants to return out of the freezer. This technique additionally makes use of up one of many many calendars I get in direction of the top of the 12 months! – Barbara

#8) My husband and I plan a menu every week and buy our groceries primarily based on that menu. We’ll attempt a brand new recipe from time to time. – Tracy

#9) I’ve a “file” of recipes that we like together with Factors – my “file” is recipes that I write out on particular person pages of Jr Authorized Pads (mine are purple) – I clip them collectively by classes – I.e. Soups, Salmon, Rooster, Turkey, and so on. Then I can determine which rooster or tilapia or greens I wish to cook dinner that night time – I get WW recipes on line and they’re all the time helpful. – Melissa

#10) I exploit a spiral (so it lays flat) weekly planner e book and write what we’re having every day together with important meal, vegetable and so on. I do every week at a time and use pencil in case I make revisions. I exploit the planner to make my grocery checklist. I additionally write beside every menu in what cookbook or web site to seek out the recipes. Love your weblog…thanks!!! – Janelle

#11) Martha, first, thanks for all of your fantastic recipes. They’re actually serving to me on my journey! As to Meal Planning – Paprika!! (Recipe/Meal Planning App). I add, or create, all of the recipes I like. Every week I will select 6 recipes, often after selecting my protein from the Freezer as we replenish when there are gross sales.

Utilizing Paprika, I discover a recipe and use the choice to pick gadgets I must buy. I then have my grocery checklist at my fingertips on the retailer in addition to the checklist of recipes I’ve chosen for the week.

The toughest half is selecting recipes, the remaining is a bit of cake. If I am having a busy day my husband helps out by grabbing my iPad, asking what’s deliberate, and preps for me! Nice method to get children concerned as nicely. Prop the iPad on the counter and comply with instructions. – Jill from Scottsdale

#12) I recognize your recommendations on meal prepping/planning. Some extra ideas which have labored for me are to make use of post-it notes w/every meal, so I can change our day by day plans when mandatory & hopefully publish on fridge – that method I can keep in mind how previous the leftovers are if there are any! (when did i cook dinner that meat??)

Additionally, use of a day by day planner w/ house for meals works – once more, the publish it notes are a assist when flexibility is required for schedule conflicts. If potential, I will checklist the principle meals on my purchasing checklist, in order to not neglect what further veggie/sides are wanted for every meal – salsa, extra gadgets usually served w a particular meal.

A planning calendar can be useful for reminders – so i can test: do I must take rooster, and so on., from freezer for tomorrows meal? (this 12 months, I am utilizing Nourished a day by day planner for a well-fed life—it really works for this w/ ample house for different day by day plans, and so on. Thanks once more, Martha to your help in recipe/planning/prepping & dwelling this wholesome life type! – Terrie

#13) I plan my menus and store for the week on the weekend. I really write the menus and clip the recipes to my plan. – Esta

#14) Since most of my recipes are on Pinterest, I created a personal board titled “What’s for Dinner.” After I put together my weekly menu, I save the recipes I am utilizing to my “What’s for Dinner” board. After I’ve ready the recipe, I take away it from “What’s for Dinner.” If it is a recipe I might use once more, I put it aside to “My Favourite Recipes” in order that I haven’t got to go looking the a whole bunch of recipes I’ve pinned. Works for me! – Ramona

#15) Hello Martha – I too had the issue of what did I plan to do with these things. Then I discovered one thing known as What To Eat (affiliate) – a pad of about 60 sheets from an organization known as Knock Knock. Every sheet is for every week of planning and there is a magnet on the again to plonk it on the fridge. Nice assist! I preserve the stuffed in sheets to remind me the place I discovered recipes and the way my weight varies relying on what I needed to eat that week so it is an excellent useful resource for my weight reduction efforts. Though I need to inform you that since I received your nice e-book bundle, I haven’t got far to look! – Jane

#16) I preserve a listing on the fridge door of what I’ll make in a selected week. Generally I even mix important course with vegetable or fruit choices, too. In any other case, I might neglect what all these groceries had been bought for. – Elaine

#17) I like to meal plan, and am really fairly good at it…though generally summer season busyness after which fall sports activities schedules make it a bit tougher. At these instances of the 12 months I not solely need to coordinate my menu and my recipes, nevertheless it all has to coordinate with my datebook! 🙂 Anyway… when Im “on”…..that is my routine: Sit down with two tablets… one for menu and one for grocery checklist, and my date e book. I’m going by way of my recipes (which I preserve in a field or some are in an e mail folder). I write the times of the week and dates on a pill (btw I solely meal plan for dinners) and what meal I plan to make on every day. As I am deciding on the menu, I’m going by way of the substances of every recipe and make a grocery checklist. Beside every day’s menu plan, I make an observation of the place to seek out the recipe… both e mail (and I make an observation of the e-mail location or date so its simpler to seek out) or in my printed recipe field. I pull out the printed ones and put them collectively within the kitchen in order that they’re shut at hand. I often plan for 2 weeks. So my plan would possibly look one thing like this:

Monday (date) – Chili (e mail from 3/2/17)
Tuesday (date) – oven rooster (recipe card field)
Wednesday (date) – Martha’s taco salad (printed)

By making the grocery checklist concurrently I pick the menu recipes, I do know what I want for every recipe so Im positive to have it readily available and this additionally permits me to graze by way of the pantry to see what I have already got. Husband additionally is aware of what to anticipate every night time for dinner and this permits him to plan his different meals (calorie-wise and so on) round what we’re having. Generally I discover I’ve to “commerce days”, however I do know I all the time have what I must make all of the recipes on the menu it doesn’t matter what day I really make them. Sounds extra difficult than it’s… I PROMISW… it takes possibly half an hour or so to do a two week menu WITH grocery checklist. I put the menu on the fridge with magnets in order that it by no means will get misplaced. My want is that I may discover a pill that has the times of the week on it… not mandatory, however I feel it will be cuter than pill paper 🙂 that is my plan. Elsie P. 🙂

#18) I exploit an Excel sheet with the title of the recipe and the substances wanted for it! – Caitlin

#19) Martha, when college provides are on sale, locker dimension white boards are low-cost (or on the greenback retailer). I’ve a number of on my fridge. One for the grocery checklist, one for the menu and one for the produce within the fridge. – Nancy

#20) I’ve a dry erase calendar on my fridge and moreover having my schedule on it I write cookbook title and web page quantity on day as nicely. – Ashley

#21) I’ve a magnetic pad of menu pages. It has the 7 days of the week and loads of room to jot down the menu for every day. – Elaine

#22) I bought a onerous cowl planner from the Greenback Tree. Every day I write the dish and sides then if I want the recipe supply I add that as nicely. I jot down dishes and their supply I wish to attempt within the again. That is my second 12 months doing this and already bought a 2018 planner. It is a greenback and saves me a lot time! Blissful meal planning! – Robin

#23) For me I’ve to jot down out a menu and write down the e book & web page I’m utilizing on the time. Or the title of the recipe if it is not in a e book. I hope this helps. -Cherylee

#24) Pinterest! I save all of the recipes I am planning to cook dinner from on-line sources in Pinterest.
I additionally attempt to group the substances for the dish within the fridge once they come residence from the grocery retailer so they’re multi functional place. – Karen

#25) I exploit the Notes app on my iPhone to jot down my deliberate recipes and their location (just about identical as you, however digital). That method, I all the time have them with me. (Most of my recipes are additionally digital, so I can discover these pretty simply too) I additionally preserve a “template” checklist of the kind of recipes that work for me, e.g., Straightforward—baked fish w/broccoli and mushrooms; Soup—pasta fagioli (SNL); New—mushroom stroganoff (Pinterest). My grocery checklist goes beneath my meal plan in the identical observe.
Works for me! Love your website & emails:) – Avrial M.

#26) I used to be fighting the identical factor. What has helped me tremendously is creating a folder on the pc labeled “this week’s recipes”. I obtain the recipes to that folder and if the recipe is a printed one, I clip it to my menu calendar. – Rebecca

#27) I purchased the 12-week meal planner ecookbook by Alisha Hughes from Meal Planning Mommies. It’s nice 12 weeks with a purchasing checklist which is fantastic. I simply make a replica of the checklist and go purchasing for the week. – Roberta R.

#28) I preserve a small pocket book in my kitchen and write down what I’m cooking every day and the place recipe is. I additionally make observe if one thing wants thawing or further prep. – Mary Ann C.

#29) Write them in a white board in your kitchen. – Cathleen

#30) Pinterest! The reader may make pins for all the pieces she finds on-line and make a dinner recipes board. If she finds some recipes in cookbooks or Pinterest is not her factor, she may get a month-to-month calendar and grasp it within the kitchen, writing down the recipe title on the date she intends to cook dinner them and the place to seek out them on-line or in her cookbooks. – Melissa

#31) The app AnyList retains recipes, provides substances it’s essential to a purchasing checklist, and retains a calendar with the meals on it! You may import recipes from nearly any web site…I’ve dozens of yours on it Every half may also be shared with as many different individuals as you would like, so, if another person goes to the shop, they’ll have already got the checklist on their machine. The app may also be your normal place for all of your to-do lists. – Lynn Okay.

#32) I’ve a meal planning board on Pinterest. I copy 4 to five recipes and date the week. By preserving the recipes on the board I can reuse the meal week one other time of the 12 months. It really works nice for me because the recipes are there. – Rachel A.

#33) I’ve a 3 ring binder crammed with recipes I’ve gathered at WW conferences, on web sites and from Fb teams. They’re separated into meal teams. I plan my week by shopping by way of the recipes and pull out those I plan on making. I preserve these in a magnetic clip on the fridge. My purchasing checklist contains substances for every of those recipes, and I’ve made notes and feedback on every so I do know precisely what’s going to make me pleased. – Susan W.

#34) For the previous two years, my husband and I’ve been making a meal plan for the week – and posting it on the fridge. That method, we are able to see prematurely if we have to take meat out of the freezer, do some purchasing for these issues that weren’t within the cabinet, and plan for busy days (crockpot days!) As well as, I exploit copymethat to maintain my recipes in. It “grabs” any recipe posted on-line, and places it in a format that I can both preserve, or edit after I’ve cooked. It has been a lifesaver! Lots of your recipes at the moment are in that app, and I can simply check with my ipad as I am cooking. I can both enter my very own recipes or “copy me that” off the web. For example – here is certainly one of yours, full with a referral again to your web site! Oh, and did I point out that there is a meal planner perform, too? Life is nice, and I am again within the wholesome consuming mode! Thanks to your work in offering yummy recipes and concepts! – Karen Clark

#35) I exploit a calendar (one of many many you get in direction of the top of the 12 months) and put the recipe title, cookbook and web page if relevant. Or I pull free recipes and use the above to compile the grocery checklist. I then check with the calendar week to maintain observe of what to cook dinner when. Works nice! – Barbara C.

#36) I make a 7 to 10 day checklist of meals and tape them to the within of a cabinet door... together with a listing of meal concepts. – Michelle B.

#37) There is a FREE app I exploit a few gazillion instances a day known as “Copymethat”. IT IS AWESOME! After I’m on a web page with one recipe on it, I simply “click on” somewhat button on my browser window, and the app shortly captures the recipe off the web page. Then I simply click on on “View Recipe, and I am taken to the web site the place I can view, save, EDIT, ENTER YOUR OWN, and categorize the recipe. It is saved on the Cloud so I do not take up house on my pc! You may make Meal Plans and Grocery Lists, too! AND ALL OF THIS IS FREE!!! You will get it to your iPhone, too. This is a hyperlink to my Group recipes I’ve collected up to now and a pattern recipe from the app – Nancy

#38) I am a single mother of three ages 9-18 and the Director of a kid care heart so my mind is continually combating the urge to clog with all the data I must preserve observe of. For meals, I take a screenshot of recipes I discover on right here, in Pinterest, and so on. If it takes a couple of screenshot to incorporate a complete recipe (it’s by no means greater than 3), I edit the pics inserting 1,2,3 on the prime. I put all my recipes in an album on my telephone then use them to take my time to order groceries on-line (by way of an app) all through the week. I decide the groceries up on Saturday and pull the recipes up on my telephone (or iPad as a result of they’re synced). No in search of lists I jotted someplace. It’s all buttoned up in my telephone! – Lori P.

#39) I make out menus on Tuesday on a weight watcher menu planning sheet, on Wednesday I test the pantry and make a purchasing checklist, Thursday is Weight Watchers and purchasing day. Recipes are printed out and put with menu planning sheet. I do every week at a time. Thanks to your recipes and hints. – Okay. Hamilton

#40) I’m essentially the most disorganized individual on the earth besides in terms of meal planning. I’m a nurse and used to work 7 days on (10-12 hour shifts) and seven days off. I needed to plan! I’ve a 3-ring binder stuffed w/ sheet protectors and once I discover a good recipe I print it and put it in my “pocket book.” As soon as each couple of weeks I sit down and plan my menus for 10-12 days, make a grocery checklist and go grocery purchasing. Every night all I’ve to do is keep in mind what day it’s and I do know what’s for dinner! Relieves a lot stress. – Connie

#41) Hi there Martha, My suggestion is …..USE YOUR PHONE!

I exploit the “notes” app on my telephone. Each Saturday night time I plan my meals and every week’s price of LUNCHES and DINNERS within the NOTES app. Then I plan my purchasing checklist across the meal plan and make a SHOPPING LIST within the NOTES app so all the pieces is on my telephone once I get to the grocery retailer. I actually hardly ever want a recipe anymore as a result of after 48 years of marriage most of our favourite meals are in my head however somebody may simply add the cookbook and web page subsequent to the deliberate meal and check with the telephone every day to see what’s on the menu. Actually, having the substances and plans in my telephone has been a HUGE time saver! I NEVER neglect my checklist once I go to the shops anymore! We additionally eat out rather a lot much less as a result of I’ve the meals and the plan in place. We often do schedule at the very least one meal every week out with buddies and since that’s deliberate it’s listed underneath my dinner part within the NOTES app. I’ll change my thoughts or get held up at work and change what I deliberate for Monday and Tuesday, however the plan continues to be in place. We nonetheless eat that meals, simply on a distinct day. Sure meals are all the time on my purchasing checklist and the portions hardly ever change except I get company. Fruits, greens, eggs, dairy and breads are just about repeat purchases every week. The one variation is what’s in season and what a selected recipe would possibly require. I additionally love that as I run out of issues like condiments or spices I simply put it in my telephone and it robotically is placed on my subsequent purchasing checklist. My menu plan appears to be like one thing like this……..

Menu plan 9/22


S. Pot roast, carrots, potatoes, salad

M. Grilled Rooster, grilled zucchini, brown rice

T. Eat out

W. Spaghetti squash, marinara, meatballs

Th. Hamburgers, corn on cob, salad

F. Mexican Shredded beef salad (leftover pot roast)

S. Rooster Parmigiana, spaghetti squash, salad


S. Brunch/omelets

M. Chef salad, ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce

T. Scorching pot roast sandwich (leftover pot roast)

W. Rooster Caesar salad (leftover rooster from Mon.)

Th. Tuna salad/sandwich

F. Meatball Parmigiana in pita pocket (leftover meatballs from Wed.)

S. Eat out

I often attempt to cook dinner as soon as and eat it two or thrice (should you depend lunches) so the marinara from Wednesday would be the identical sauce I exploit on the Rooster Parm on Saturday and the lunch on Friday. The shredded beef on Friday is definitely from the pot roast on Sunday. I actually attempt to make sufficient to get a lunch from every meal. My husband prefers my leftovers for lunch so I cook dinner sufficient to plan for all of that. However the actuality is I’m solely cooking Sunday and Wednesday this week and grilling (which is less complicated for me) Monday and Thursday. Planning like this has actually lightened my meal prep. Hope this helps another person! – Denise

#42) I used to have this downside on a regular basis. I began preserving a ½ inch binder on the countertop with the recipes for the week – and those everybody actually preferred that we wish to make once more. Quickly everybody was trying within the binder on a regular basis, so it additionally removed the limitless query “what’s for dinner” the second I stroll within the door. Now the youngsters and my husband can transfer recipes they preferred from the “this week” part to the “make once more” .. its additionally straightforward to tear out those that did not go over so nicely. – Kristi B.

#43) For years I’ve used a wall calendar (though it stays folded and tucked beside my microwave) to plan every week’s price of meals. It has to have sufficiently big squares to jot down the title of the recipe (and the place to seek out the recipe). Through the use of a calendar I can plan round night actions, consuming out, touring, and so on. and plan for leftovers. I began this when my daughter was sufficiently old to start out serving to within the kitchen and would start prepping supper earlier than I received residence from work. If the recipe was on the calendar with the mandatory data the place to seek out it, she may find the recipe (figuring out all of the substances had been in the home) and start engaged on supper. This has labored nice for my household through the years!! – Cindy N. 

Do You Wrestle With Meal Planning?

Everyone knows how essential wholesome meal planning is to lasting weight reduction success. And the way irritating it may be to truly pull-off week after week.

Slow Cook Yourself Slim eBook Bundle

After providing a Bonus Meal Plan with recipes and grocery checklist as a part of my Sluggish Cook dinner Your self Slim eCookbook Bundle, I received tons of requests for extra.

So I assembled this Meal Plan eBook to make meal planning a breeze. It gives you with a month (4 weeks) of meal plans with WW pleasant recipes and grocery lists!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans Calendar and Shopping List

When you favor a extra subtle method to meal planning with extra flexibility and tons of choices, you would possibly wish to try my WW Pal Kristen from Slender Kitchen’s Meal Planning Made Straightforward, which I extremely suggest!

MPM 12 week meal plan bundle cover and meal plan pages

12-week meal planner ecookbook by Alisha Hughes from Meal Planning Mommies is one other nice choice crammed with straightforward household pleasant choices. Or for smaller households, you may be serious about Alisha’s Desk for Two e-book.

This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks to merchandise I like. While you purchase one thing by way of certainly one of my Amazon links or different (affiliate hyperlinks), I obtain a small fee that helps help this website. Thanks to your buy!

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