I've never been one to map out my meals for the week, since I thought I could never predict my cravings in advance. How will I know that I want pasta on Monday? What if I have a surprisingly heavy lunch that day and then want sushi for dinner instead?? But lately, I really get the beauty of planning out meals in advance. After a long, busy day it is so nice to not think about what to make or buy and especially nice not to play the, "I don't know, what do you feel like eating?" game with my husband. But what really got me into a more planned out week was when I realized I didn't have to be so strict about it! If I did suddenly crave pasta, I could switch out Tuesday's meal for Thursday's. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that I'm not in school and it's not a rigid schedule that I must follow to a T. I guess I still have a lot of that goody-two-shoe, by-the-book attitude I had in school left inside of me. Once I wrapped my head around the idea that I wasn't stuck following a strict schedule, I finally got what everyone was raving about!
But what really put me over the edge with this whole meal planning thing was this gorgeous magnetic meal planner from Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast. I've always loved her blog. I mean, there is not a prettier, food blog out there than hers. I love her watercolors and her cute drawn on instructions, not to mention her extremely simple, yet flavorful vegetarian recipes, so it was no surprise that her meal planner would be just as whimsical and beautiful.
Not only is a beautiful addition to the 'fridge, but it's also utilitarian. The best part of the planner is that there is a tear-away shopping list. The shopping list to the right-hand side is perforated, so you can rip it off and take it to the store with you. I also love how it's magnetic, letting everyone in the kitchen know the plan for the week. I also use it to let my husband know if their are leftovers available, that way last night's leftover meatballs (or, let's be honest, Indian takeout) doesn't get shoved to the back of the 'fridge and forgotten about by Friday. It's also been handy in helping me plan out Evie's meals as well. Who knew feeding a little baby was so complicated?! I swear I got a "Cheerio dusted tofu and peas for dinner again?" look from her the other day. The planner comes with 50 sheets so it can last you a whole year and comes with 5 different colorful designs. The pictures above, make it seem a little larger than it is, but trust me, it doesn't take over the whole 'fridge - it just adds a nice pop of color!
So now I have a somewhat planned week, beautifully displayed on my refrigerator, a handy list for the supermarket, and have found that we are eating healthier and saving money. I think you can call that a win-win-win situation! Do you plan out your meals? Not a week goes by without a taco night in our house- we just change up the fillings each week. (I might have to try The Forest Feast's whole pepper taco sometime!) What is your go to meal that you make once a week?
You can buy the magnetic meal planner here.
(all photos via Abrams Books)