On Meal Planning

I love thinking about food – any & all food is fair game. I take pleasure in sharing my knowledge of Calgary’s food scene & delight in the ongoing search for delicious fare. You’d think this passion for eating would perhaps translate to my enjoyment of meal planning, but it truly does not. I don’t really believe anyone who tells me they love this task. Don’t get me wrong, I love thinking about new recipes & forming an unstructured plan of what we’ll eat, but I don’t enjoy sitting down to actually plan the week. I get much more enjoyment from flexible plans, but I personally don’t find them realistic for our everyday lives. For one, I hate throwing out food. It’s one of my pet peeves. Even if something I’ve made doesn’t quite turn out, I’ll usually eat it. There’s also the unfortunate fact that we need to be a little bit conscious what we’re spending. So every week, I sit down & make a meal plan.
I used to be quite diligent about this process, but lately I’ve been struggling with finding the motivation. Recipes I’ve pinned still look delicious, but I don’t always have time (or energy) for a weekday experiment. It’s just not always realistic to spend hours in the kitchen on a Tuesday night. Sometimes I just want something quick & easy, something that I already know will be delicious.
This is exactly why I’m grateful that I’ve been so organized with our meal plans. (Excuse me while I pat myself on the back for that one.) Thanks to my penchant for planning, I have a record of every single meal plan we ever made. Originally, I typed them up in word, printed them off, & stuck them on the fridge. At the end of the week, I’d put them in a binder. (How cute!)
A couple of years ago, we made the switch to online recording. We use an app called Evernote. It allows you to create lists that sync to multiple phones, making tracking, organising, & editing simple.When N picks up groceries, he checks off the items in the app as he goes so we know whether we’re missing anything.
a sample Evernote plan
I really like our system, but I still find my inspiration lacking from time to time. A few weeks ago, I was on Instagram & noticed how often I share our meals on my feed. Why not use these for inspiration?! There’s a good mix of tried & true recipes as well as some newer, exciting ones. I created a hashtag for these photos so they’re easy to find (one of the greatest features of instagram!). You can find them by searching #deBoerDinners.
Whenever I’ve used a recipe, I’ve tagged the owner or referenced it in some ways. There are some experiments & staples up there though that will not have recipes associated with them, but hopefully they all help to inspire your meal plans when you’re feeling a bit stuck. I plan to continue to add to it as we cook more too, so it will continue to grow.
Do you ever find yourself in a cooking rut? I’d love to hear about your tactics if you do! Happy Meal Planning!
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