Lessons From a Wannabe Meal Planner

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Try as I might, I am NOT a meal planner. I blame it on life, picky kids and lack of time and creativity. I’m an organized person, a list maker, total Type-A, but this “skill” does not come naturally to me! I am the girl who buys the same things every time I go to the store, I over spend and waste more than I care to admit. I’m also the girl that stands in front of the refrigerator at 5 pm and asks her family “What do you guys feel like eating for dinner tonight?”

I have learned that meal planning, albeit overwhelming and intimidating, will save me time and money! So I’m trying.

Meal Planning Tips (from my expert friends)

  1. Keep pantry staple ingredients on hand in your kitchen so that you can make a delicious, nutritious meal every night of the week.
  2. Check your pantry and freezer before you shop, and make a shopping list! 
  3. Write down all seven days including the planned meal and ingredients that need to be purchased. 
  4. Check your calendar before grocery shopping and making the meal plan for the week. Thinking through the week and the commitments / obligations ahead of time helps to determine what we will eat and when. If you have soccer practice on Tuesday night, that’s the night you choose a simple recipe or make something ahead of time.
  5. Choose recipes that you know you and your family will love! It’s easy to fall down a Pinterest rabbit hole daydreaming of elaborate, seasonally inspired and carefully curated meals. But, remember the reality of your life and the people sitting around your table.
  6. Be flexible! As long as it doesn’t lead to overspending or wasting ingredients!
  7. Share your wisdom and easy “go-to” meal ideas with friends like me. =) 
  8. When all else fails, serve “breakfast” for dinner….or there is always take out! 😉What tips do you have to become an expert meal planner? Share them below!
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Kristen is a mama to three blue eyed girls, Bryn (7.5), Maya (4) & Tessa (2.5) and has called Columbus home since 2004. She was born in Pennsylvania, but her family moved a lot when she was growing up. Her family has been in Ohio since 1999 which is the same year Kristen became a Bobcat at Ohio University. In her 4 years at OU, Kristen met some of her very best friends, learned to stumble with grace down brick streets, rowed on the OU Women’s Crew team, joined a sorority, fell in love with her now husband Justin AND earned a degree! A “big girl” job in Retail Real Estate at LBrands brought Kristen to Columbus, and if she’s being honest so did the guy. They married in 2007 and started a family in 2012. When baby #2 arrived in 2016, Kristen became a stay-at-home mom and 18 months later, baby #3 arrived! It’s the hardest and best “job” she has ever had! In her spare time, Kristen enjoys exploring Columbus, reading, running, Crossfit, decorating, documenting the days through pictures, hiking, yoga, organizing and labeling things, attempting to be crafty, bargain shopping, DIY projects and spending time outdoors. Her favorite things in life are the beach, her girlfriends, travel, wine county, Mexican food, bike rides, sunsets, red wine, french fries, ice cream and her of course family!

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