Meal Plan With Me

If you’re looking to save money on your grocery bill and stay within budget, then this method is for you! I wanted to dive in deeper into how I plan our family’s meals for the week. So far I’ve been using this plan for the last couple of weeks and it has worked beautifully! We’re trying to cut back on eating out to save as much as we can. I wanted to share my method if you’re feeling overwhelmed – believe me, I’ve been there! Anyway, let’s get to it!

Meal plan from a couple of weeks ago.

*You can get this free printable here!*

So every Saturday or Sunday I take some time and write out what we are having for dinner. I also go above and beyond and get out my calendar on my phone and write it down on the days I planned them for. That way I can see what meals I’ve made in the past so as to not make the same meal too close together. Obviously you don’t have to do this step – I just like to be hyper-organized.

Here is the key: I figure out what meals I make for the week by shopping my pantry, fridge, and freezer! I would recommend writing down what you have so you don’t forget and to help reduce waste! Another benefit is that your grocery bill goes down because you should use what you have on hand FIRST, then go and get the items you need from the store.

Now, if you’re not a paper and pen person, I would recommend putting everything on your notes app in your phone.

I write it down on paper and I also use my phone. It helps me to keep everything organized – plus you can delete and rewrite on your notes app so you never have to make the outline again.

Now, what about your inventory items you used up?

Take your grocery budget and designate a portion of that amount to load up on items you’re running low on. This is why you write everything down and keep a stock. If you know that you’re running low on chicken broth, put it on your list so you can replenish. (Want to really penny pinch? Make your own!)

I hope this helps anyone intimidated by meal planning – I know I was! Pinterest is a great source for recipes, and once you have a good arsenal of tried and true meals, you will have a healthy rotation of delicious dinners. You can do this!

What are your favorite recipes? I’d love to know in the comments!

With love,

Em

How I Plan My Week

Everyone has their own way of planning out his or her days and weeks. You’re probably thinking, “Girl, I don’t just plan my days. I micromanage every minute and color cod it.” Perhaps you’re thinking, “What are you talking about?? I just go day by day and see where the day takes me.” I have to ask, though, is the latter question truly working?

I’ll have to admit, I am not a planner by nature. Having a baby changes things. I have to constantly check my watch to know when to put my baby down for naps, when she has to eat, etc. So I hunkered down and bought myself a planner, some pretty colored pens, and got down to business. I want to show you how I do that! If you’re a new momma, this schedule will be ideal for you!

I believe writing it down is so important. Did you know that if you write things down, it will boost your ability to retain information? Now as I say this, I am all for the digital planners and calendars as well. I use them both hand in hand. Once I write everything down for the week in my planner, I will then put it in my calendar so my phone will remind me of important appointments or events. Pro tip: sync your digital calendar with your spouse. You’re welcome. 

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I break my days down into three blocks:

  • Morning Block
  • Afternoon Block
  • Evening Block

Let’s take a closer look at one day of the week:

(Keep in mind that this is a day in the life of quarantine)

Morning Block: 

6 a.m. Wake, Devotionals

7 a.m. Noelle Wakes, Change, Play

8:30 a.m. Breakfast

9:30 a.m. 1st Nap

10 a.m. Mommy time – this is where I use my time to workout, work on the blog, get some cleaning done, meal prep, etc.

11:30 a.m. Noelle up, play

Afternoon Block: 

12:30 p.m. Lunch

2:30 p.m. 2nd Nap

3 p.m. Mommy time

3:30 p.m. Noelle up, play

4:30 p.m. Start Dinner

Evening Block:

Dinner Plans: (Whatever we are having for dinner)

6 p.m. Dinner

*Bath Night* 

7:30 p.m. Noelle Bed Routine

“…the block system and using those timers are key – they help you keep track of time and manage it properly and realistically!”

And that’s it! That is a typical day in my life right now. I keep times open to account for running errands, going to the park, etc. I don’t micromanage my day, because I tried to do that and it didn’t work. If you can’t get everything done you wrote out, it doesn’t make you feel good. In fact, it can be pretty discouraging. I want to fill you in on a little secret: You don’t have to do it all, Mama! That is why the block system and using those timers are key – they help you keep track of time and manage it properly and realistically! When you see how many hours you have in your block, you can schedule realistic goals for that time period. One important rule, though. Honor those timers! Once the block is done, it is done. Finished. Gone. You get the idea.

Another thing to keep me on track is wearing a watch. I know it sounds pretty obvious, but I tend to lose track of time often and my Apple Watch syncs to my phone and I can keep track of my calendar much easier. Timers are a life saver as well! If you’re anything like me, I need a timer or else I could stay up for hours and not know when to press pause. Figure out what works for you and stick to it! And if you try my method, give it a week and I will wait with a big smile on my face and say you’re welcome.

Now, I know some of you will have completely different schedules, and that’s okay. This method is adaptable! You don’t have to do three blocks – make as many and you need throughout the day. We all have the same amount of hours in our day; we just have to figure out how to manage them!

You got this. Feel free to leave a comment with your own tips and tricks, or you can leave me an email under the contact link! Who knows, another printable may be coming soon!

With Love,

Emily

Planner I use: Link

Pens: Link