I started doing something recently that has increased my level of adult-hood tremendously. Said another way: I leveled up as a human being.
Meal planning was always impossible for me for whatever reason. I could never plan far ahead enough, leaving me with whatever was easiest to make for the night, or just reheating leftovers. Somewhere along the line I learned how to meal plan for the week, and it has a lot to do with my bullet journal.
I learned from fellow bullet journalists that it can help to have a full page of meals you eat, and then schedule them into your weekly planning. Here's how I do just that every week now without fail!
Catalog all of your family's meals
First, write down all of the meals you like to make or that you make often for your family. It helps to break them down into categories so it can help you organize later. I prefer to break down my meals by meat type (chicken breast, chicken thighs, pork, turkey, etc), that way I can make sure we're getting different sources of protein every night.
Leave space so you can add new favorite meals later. (I recently came across a slow cooker recipe book at a yard sale, so I'm adding lots of new easy meals from there!)
Plan Out Your Family's Meals For The Week
Then every week in your weekly page, write down the days of the week and fill in meal ideas from there, referencing your meals page in your bullet journal as needed.
Go Grocery Shopping
After you have that done, compile your grocery shopping list and make your trip.
I love doing this because it helps me stay organized. I may adjust my meal planning or the shopping list based on what's available at the store (like when a certain meat is buy-one-get-one-free, for example). I also usually leave my sequence of nights up for grabs, as events and interruptions can come up last minute, but no matter what, I have the supplies for those meals for that week.
If I don't use a meal that week, it will get migrated—or forwarded—to the next week.
Prepare The Night Before
If my meals stay in sequence, I can prepare my next meal during the current night's meal. For example, if we were having salmon that night, I would pull out the pork chops from the freezer for the next night so they'd be defrosted by that time tomorrow.
Plan and Waste Less
By meal planning, I waste less food, and therefore I waste less money. I'm so glad I finally got this system down, and I still give myself a little pat on the back every time I manage to pull off a successfully planned meal.
How do you plan for meals for your family? I'd love if you'd share your tips below.