One little technique I like to use in order to save time, money, and energy during my planning routine is getting my meals all lined up for the week. I like the peace of mind knowing that I have all the ingredients for specific meals when I come home from work. This not only helps me breeze through cooking my meals because I know exactly what I’m making that day, but it also helps prevent me from saying “screw it!” and getting fast food. Because nothing is more exhausting than coming home from a long day and trying to figure out what on earth I’m going to pull out of my hat for dinner.
So I have been using my handy dandy bullet journal to plan out my meals and set up a list for my weekly grocery trip. We used to only go the the store every two weeks, but we found that with eating fresh, healthy food more often, it is necessary to go every week to restock all our delicious produce. Besides, is there a better way to monitor your eating habits for your weight loss plan than to have your meals all lined up ahead of time with delicious fresh fruits and veggies? No there isn’t! Another thing that might help is cute headers to keep you inspired. Grab some healthy living stickers from my Etsy shop Coffee Fox Creations to add some snazzy color to your page.
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Something that I have found to be really helpful in relieving some of the stress of meal planning is Blue Apron. This wonderful company sends you a box full of entire meals (sides and all!) with all of the ingredients you need to make the recipe. Every Blue Apron recipe we’ve made has been delicious and it’s super convenient having 3 meals a week planned and ready to go. If you are interested in giving Blue Apron a try, you can get 3 free meals, or get $30 off your first family plan order by clicking my link!
I make seven boxes on a fresh page in my trusty Ecosystem journal. Then I divide the boxes down the middle, making a table. One box in a row is for the meal description and the other is for the ingredients. I will often write out ingredients that I know I already have or that I need to check if we’re stocked before crossing them off my list. It gives me satisfaction to know I don’t need to buy another item, plus I like to make sure I didn’t forget anything while jotting down the recipe.
Then, underneath my table, I organize the items based on category so I can shop seamlessly without that running back and forth that is so frustrating at the store. One day, when I have a couple of kids, I might organize my list aisle by aisle, but I’m not there quite yet. I just really dislike grocery shopping, and writing it out like this helps me get through it with much greater ease.
Some benefits to planning out my meals in the bullet journal include being less likely to make impulse purchases (especially if I ate just before shopping!) and being more likely to remember my cloth grocery bags. If I’m rushing to the store with only a haphazard plan, I will forget my canvas bags and find myself with another dozen plastic bags that I don’t want or need. Plus, I always feel like crap because I really want to be a good citizen and care for the environment, and using canvas bags are such a simple way to cut out unnecessary plastic.
Also, you may notice my shiny new Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens in the background. I just got them the other day and I LOVE them. I can’t wait to add color to all my writing. And they are just so fine and so smooth. I’ll have a more complete review of them after a month or so, but right now it is love at first write. And I am thinking of getting a new Micron set soon. Thinking back on it, I have had these babies for probably six years now, and while they are still doing fine, I am finally seeing a little wear and tear. I’m really starting to allow myself to get better materials for this hobby of mine and not feel guilty about it. I mean, I’ve been doing it solidly for many many moons now, I think it’s safe to say I’m invested already!
Fun pen update aside, you really ought to try planning your meals in your bullet journal. It’s one of those little mundane things that can be made so much easier, and it’s convenient to be able to look back on previous weeks to see how long it’s been since you had spaghetti. There are a ton of different ways to plan out your meals, so experiment and see what works for you. I’m sure that with a little playing around, you will have meal planning down to a science in no time!
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