Crazy Easy Meal Planning With One Powerful App
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So…quick question: When 5:00pm rolls around at your joint every day, do you know what’s happening for dinner?
If you answered ‘NO’, or even ‘maybe’, you should probably look into meal planning, especially with a meal planning app.
We used to let the 5 pm-deadpan-stare-showdown happen at our house every. single. day.
“What do you want to eat?”
“I don’t know, what do you want?”
“I don’t know what do you want?”
See, the husband doesn’t want to have to think about it. He’s happy to cook–as long as he has a recipe and time we want to eat. (Which is another story because I literally tell him every single day-during the school year- that it needs to be ready by 6 pm, but he still feels the need to ask me every day of our lives, “What time do you want to eat?”) I digress. So the solution, obviously, was to just bite the bullet and do meal planning. What I learned is that you don’t have to rely on the meal planning services and sites, either, if you already have a lot of good recipes you know your family will eat. Which is why I do DIY meal planning.
I am going to do a whole separate post on meal planning sites, because I believe each has its own merits for what’s best based on your family’s needs (dietary) and your personality type (how it’s organized and what its features are.) But for now, I want to talk about DIY Meal Planning the digital way. (Check out this other post on DIY Meal Planning the Paper (non-tech) Way.)
I used to have piles (I’m not kidding here–my husband actually was super angry at me for wasting tons of $ on paper and ink to print all this crap out) of recipes lying around. Like, so many that I thought I’d never get out alive. So what I decided to do (even though I’m really bad at doing everything digital), is to go paperless on this one.
Going paperless if you’re used to tangible paper anything is realllly hard. But I promise you–for this it’s SO MUCH BETTER. (Let me add in here that I do still keep a family recipe book that I started for my kids–and it has paper recipes in it. We put only the recipes in here that I want to make sure the kids know how to make for their kids–when that time comes–and these recipes are things that we absolutely love to all eat.) Anyway, I started using the Mealboard App. This app actually has a ton more features than I actually use, but for now I just want to talk about the meal planning and shopping benefits.
Basically on Mealboard, you can enter all your recipes, put them in categories, and create meal plans for a specified number of days. Once you have your meals put in, you go into the shopping feature and sync the days you want a shopping list for. When you have your list, you can take off any duplicates or anything you already have. Also, you can add in anything extra you need (like TP, for example.) Then you can either email yourself the list, or just pull up the list on your app and use it in the store while you’re shopping. You’re also able to have lists for different stores, so if you shop more than one place, you’re covered.
What I love is that I’m not relying on recipes from meal planning sites that I have no clue if my kids will eat or not. (Or husband. He can act like a picky toddler sometimes.) I can input our own recipes that I know and trust, thereby eliminating the possibility of the Dinner-Time-Whine.
If you want to go a step further in ease for yourself, I picked up a trick from a meal planning site I used to subscribe to as well. The trick is to go ahead and do ‘prep’ either on your shopping day, or your planning day before the week starts. It literally takes less than an hour (usually only took me like 30 minutes), and makes the week ahead at dinner time sooooo much easier! To prep, you just look through each recipe at what veggies need to be chopped/measured out/mixed ahead of time, and do those things, then just put them in a baggie and label them. Keep them in the fridge until the day of, and you’re ready to go!
Having meals ready to go like that makes my life immensely easier during the school year!! We have lots of after-school activities happening all the time, as well as allergy shots one day a week, and the husband traveling through the week for work. So for me, after a long day, this is what saves my sanity (except for wine. Don’t forget the wine.)
So what’s your current sitch on meals at night? Do you meal plan? Wanna try it the digital way? If you’d like a tutorial on the Mealboard App (which is totally FREE, btw), click the image above!
Let me know what works for you! And if you try the Mealboard app, let me know how you like it! It’s saved my sanity more than a few times!!