Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meal Planning for the Disorganized

I am really good at meal planning. I am just not so good at the execution. I always have great intentions, well thought-out meal plans, and a fridge full of food, but I don't always follow-through. Dinner is my toughest challenge. I look for things that are quick, easy, and healthy after a long day at work.

Since I started participating in Bountiful Baskets, a fruit and vegetable co-op, I have been trying to be more diligent about using all the food I receive. After all, $15 is a great bargain for fruits and vegetables but if I end up throwing a lot of it away, it can be a waste of money.

Because of Bountiful Baskets, my fridge is always overflowing with fruits and veggies. I look at it as a good problem to have, but sometimes I wonder how we will use all this stuff. It is just me and hubby eating meals around here. If I get five tomatoes or three cucumbers in my basket one week, I try to get creative on how I can use them all.

One of the things I like about Bountiful Baskets, is that you pay online in advance and you don't know what you are going to get until you pick up your basket. It forces me to get creative with my cooking and look for new ideas.

I once again wonder, what the heck did I ever do before Pinterest? I know. I know. There was always the internet (OK, not always), but Pinterest presents the recipes in a way that allows me to stumble upon new ideas.

I also like to volunteer at Bountiful Baskets on Saturday Morning. I genuinely think it is fun and it is less than an hour commitment of my time. It is a mini workout with all that lifting, carrying, and squatting. It is non-profit and strictly volunteer run so if it wasn't for volunteers, Bountiful Baskets couldn't function and wouldn't exist. It is my small contribution to make sure this will continue to be available to me. As an added bonus, if there are leftovers after the baskets are filled, the volunteers usually can take an extra item or two. Win. If you are interested in learning more about Bountiful Baskets, I wrote a post about them here.

The truck is here! The truck is here!

My friend told me about a free grocery list/meal planner template over on You can download the meal planning template that I used here. I am pretty boring consistent when it comes to breakfast and lunch (i.e. I eat the exact same thing everyday), so I use the meal planner for dinner planning only. I like the grocery list on the side separated out by category. It makes shopping easier.

Here is my attempt this week at meal planning. The Sunday recipe is what I start with for the week.

Here are some of the recipes I pinned from Pinterest for my meal planning:

Lemon Chicken & Squash Bake
The Best Salmon Ever (according to Pinterest)
Loaded Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole
Spinach and Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms (OK, this is my recipe.)

Do you meal plan? 

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photo credit: 27147 via photopin cc


  1. I try to meal plan...and things go so much more smoothly in the evenings when I actually follow through! That's my Achilles heel too...the follow thru. These are good ideas!

  2. I'm never that motivated. But I've got breakfast down :)

  3. I always need to meal plan as well, otherwise, there is nothing here! I could live off PB&J sandwiches but my husband isn't too keen on that. I only plan 3 days during the week though and try to use up leftovers on the other two!

  4. ok i have GOT to get in on this CSA thing... i should start small like you... $15 sounds totally manageable - and i don't meal plan at all though i want to. i should try it!

  5. I can't wait to get our first veggie/fruit shipment from a local company!

  6. ahhh I dont.
    and I didnt used to need to BUT NOW?
    our family is bigger and life is crazier and I need I need ;0)

  7. I am always afraid of getting stuff I just don't want! Good for you to embrace the surprises.

  8. I run into that issue too. I go to the Farmers Market and by stunning stuff only to have at least some of it perish because I didn't get a round to using it. Summer salads seem to help that issue a little. Visiting from Texas Women Bloggers Facebook-new subscriber!

  9. We are a member of a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) so we get a box of locally grown items each week. It's a great way to try new things, but yes there are some things I just won't use (or use a lot of). Last week we got a TON of garlic scapes, I don't normally cook with them so it was an adjustment but I can't use a lot (Unless I plan on feeding a vampire).

    I also love going to the farmers market and getting things. Supporting local businesses is huge. My schedule is usually pretty crazy so I don't follow a plan really with my meals. I usually decide the day before (that way if I have to go to the store I know what I need). But I usually keep my fridge and cupboards stocked with my favorites and basics so I can make just about anything.

  10. this seems like a great way for me to do meal planning, my past attempts usually get a good start but then dissolve sometimes the same week. I will definitely give this a try and im so interested in the bountiful baskets! :)
    thanks for sharing!

  11. I love Bountiful Baskets!! I have a hard time sticking with purchasing it because my stupid Saturdays start filling up. Boo!
    I'm FB friends with one of the ladies that runs it and she takes special care to make sure the quality and sustainability is there.
    I try to meal plan each week, but get sidetracked. I need to be more disciplined!


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