Although we’ve been back to school since the beginning of August, many of you are just now making that fateful trek to the school yard for the year.
Since my eldest daughter is the first to be heading to school (Pre-K y’all!), and Rudy has started the next leg of his journey towards being a nurse practitioner, our days and nights have become crazy busy.
In comes the Meal Planner.
Before all of this craziness, I was content to plan meals by the seat of my pants, because I could afford to go to the store to pick up whatever I needed, whenever I needed. But now I just don’t have the time. In response to this, I started working on creating a meal plan that would give me control over what I needed in order to make a few days worth of meals at a time.
I didn’t want to create a seven day meal planner, because honestly, some days we decide on takeout or fast food or pizza. You know, those days when things are just too wild to cook, or the days when everything has gone so completely wrong that the last thing you want to do is pull out the ingredients to anything other than a stiff drink.
There are tons of meal planners out there, so what is so damn special about mine? Well, I can tell you what I think, but it’s up to you to tell me what makes it special for you.
The first thing is that I don’t label days. I have this weird fear of not doing the things I’ve scheduled for myself, so if I put down that I’m going to make Brazilian Chicken Cutlets on Monday and then don’t make them, I beat myself up. Yes, it’s kind of lame, I know, but it’s just how I am. I also don’t include a week of…date section, because honestly, do you not know what week it is that you are planning your meals for? It would make sense if I was planning a month of meals, but if I’m just trying to fill a few days in the current week, I don’t see a need to specifically say so.
I’ve included four spaces for four meals. In my experience, fresh foods can deteriorate quickly, so four days worth of meals seemed about right for their shelf-life. I have some mangoes sitting on my counter that are getting ready to turn on me, but you know what? With my list of meals, that shit’s getting made tonight. They go with those Brazilian Chicken Cutlets I mentioned earlier.
Under those listed meals are separate boxes for the ingredients needed to be picked up in order to complete those meals. I love this part because often times I will miss ingredients if I just list everything out in one giant line. I never remember what goes with what recipe, or I’ll think maybe I don’t need such-an-such item and not buy it and then rent my hair later when I realize ohmigod that ingredient was essential and I totally blew it!
Basically, it just keeps me on track.
And finally, below that I have a nice sized space to record any remaining items you might need from the store. Staple pantry items, snacks and tampons. Just those random, everyday things you need that don’t necessarily belong to your recipes.
I made eight prettily colored downloadable meal planners for you. Download one or all of them, I don’t mind! They are 8×10 in size and should print nicely on standard paper. I created it 8×10 because anything larger and you will get clipping warnings when you try to print and then it won’t come out right, and that’s annoying.
To get your meal planner printable, first select your color:
Then, in the right sidebar under Media Options, select Download, and you are good to go!
If you use them and love them, please share them! Pin them, tweet them, whatever, just show some love for the hard work I put into these. And! if you have a color you would like that isn’t among the eight above, just let me know, I’d be more than happy to make one in your color!