Before heading into the work week, I have learned it is crucial to plan out some dinners and do a big grocery shop. This saves us a ton of time, money, and frustration. I really hate the late evening, “What should we have for dinner?” conversation, and inevitably if we waited until just before dinner to make a plan and go to the store we would end up eating out 3 nights a week.
Since Pinterest came into my life, picking recipes I’ve found online to work into the weekly dinner schedule is so much easier. I used to have this terribly awkward system of bookmark folders for different types of recipes. It just didn’t work. Now I just jump back and forth to different food boards I have organized on Pinterest and wait for something to catch my eye. Currently I only have a handful of food boards. I have them broken down by meal (breakfast,lunch,dinner) or season, and have boards for things I tend to collect a lot of recipes for like eggs or tofu. As the boards grow I tend to re-organize into more specific boards. For example, I’m starting to see the need for a soup board.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t normally make a new recipe every single day. I aim to make at least one new thing each week. I generally plan between 3 and 5 meals at a time, and I try to make sure at least one of those is something simple and “semi-homemade” like veggie burgers or tacos. I also try to include a more homemade dinner that is an old favorite I know well, like my vegan chipotle corn chowder or one of our favorite chili recipes. I fill in the rest of the week with new or old recipes from Pinterest and cookbooks, and leave room for going out or making something on a whim before planning the next 3-5 dinners.
Part of this week’s dinner schedule. Click to view a PDF.
This week I threw together our meal plan in record time and all 5 of the scheduled dinners were from my Pinterest boards. I thought I’d share. I think we’re going to eat well this week, and it took less than 10 minutes to get it all together and another 10-15 minutes to compile a grocery list. Since we are a family of three, I always try to make dinners that make enough portions to have 1-2 meals worth of leftovers and that is what we take for lunch most days.
Feel free to borrow my dinner schedule template via Google docs!