• Jenn

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Something I found out in working on excel spreadsheets with my husband is that our brains work totally opposite when it comes to spreadsheet layout. Knowing how my brain worked came in handy when I started doing weekly meal plans. I could never follow them. Turns out it was as simple as changing the layout! The layout you have, with days across the top works for my husband, but me, I flipped them and put days down the side and meals across the top. That simple switch gave me a usable sheet for how my brain works. :) If someone has never been able to follow a meal planning sheet before, that may be why. :)

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  • Ricki

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 10:41 am

    This is SO helpful, Amy! I’m a total meal-planning newbie. Never done it before! So I especially appreciate the forms. I am going to give this a try! :D

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    Amy Reply:

    @Ricki, I can’t believe that you don’t meal plan! How do you ever manage to come up with so many creative dishes without a plan. You must have a few tricks up your sleeve, my friend.

    xoxo!!

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  • Alisa

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Very cool Amy!

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  • Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Good ideas to start an imposing task!

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  • susan plocher

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    As always, appreciate the tips and also the printables. I’m a person that is swayed by looks and I will enjoy meal planning so much more with pretty and useful forms. Thanks much1

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  • melanie

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks Amy for these great ideas! I usually keep a fairly accurate snapshot of the contents of frig & freezer in my head, plus the contents of the CSA box which comes every week, and new dishes I want to cook in the near future – but where I usually slip up is coordinating all of our evening activities – I often even forgot what I’ve got planned, nevermind the others in the household.

    One thing that simplifies things a bit for me is that we have smoothies for breakfast every morning and for lunch, for those who are home – its leftovers (no small children here…). So the only meal I really plan is supper.

    I keep a a big pantry so I can usually come up with something fairly eatable at short notice – and actually I enjoy the challenge of cooking with just the ingredients I have.

    Thanks for the printables – this makes it easy to bring it all together.

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  • Debbie

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    THANK YOU!!! I love your meal planning sheets!
    I did start doing meal planning but I started using my Franklin Covey Day Planner 2 Pages per week calendar.

    I like your sheets though because of the addition of kitchen projects.

    I’m going to be combining the two and see what happens…

    THANK YOU for sharing!!!

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  • Tanya

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you, Thank you… I’ve struggled in this area of homemaking for years.. My N.Y. Resolution is to finally tackle the whole Menu planning/getting more organized and saving money thing! Thanks for you help!

    Tanya

    PS..Love your book BTW!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Tanya, Thanks! So glad you’re enjoying the book. Best of luck on your New Year’s Resolution. :)

    Hugs!

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  • Saundra

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks Amy for this post as well as the printables. I am not very organized when it comes to meal planning. This is one of my goals for 2012.

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  • Tessa Domestic Diva

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    So funny Amy, I actually look forward to planning out my meals for the week b/c I love pouring over my cookbooks, and pinterest pins! But then, i also like cleaning the bathrooms and doing laundry…so there’s that! Dusting and dishes however….uughh!
    In all the work with my organizing clients, one thing is most important. Finding a system that works for you and your own personal style. I also think it is important to point out that all systems still require work, they just make that job a little bit easier! I love how you provided some printables, great way for some people to get started! here’s a link to a post I did on meal planning…and essential component to any smooth-running household w/ nutritious and cost-effective meals!
    http://tessadomesticdiva.blogspot.com/2011/03/organizing-tip-of-day-menu-planning.html

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  • Maggie

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    So glad you shared this for Go Ahead Honey. It’s a great way to get organized with your meals so you can focus on preparing and eating healthy and healing foods. I love the designs Amy :)

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  • InTolerant Chef

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I tend to plan my meals around the protein I intend to cook each day. This its the most expensive part of the meal so it helps with budgeting.

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    Stephanie Reply:

    Thats exactly how I do it:) I work out what protein we are going to have each night. Then I just buy heaps of veggies and work it out from there. Lunch is invariably leftover from the night before. Breakky is a GF, grain free muesli that I make myself with coconut milk. Love having a plan tho for dinner, means I can mull over in my head all day the recipe I am going to concoct:))

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  • Lexie

    posted on January 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Desperately needed some inspiration in this department. Thank Amy. Not long now … thinking of you and Baby Green’s arrival : ) xoLexie

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  • Kim (Cook It Allergy Free)

    posted on January 28, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Such an awesome idea, Amy! I love it. If I do not keep my meals planned based on after school activities, I am in trouble. The boys sports activities are usually from 5-6pm which is typically my dinner making hour. So I have to be well-prepared to have it ready to go before we even leave on activity nights. I am a total dork because I actually love the ritual of planning everything out for the week on Sundays and then stocking the fridge and pantry based on that plan. I am totally going to print this out! Very smart of you to do this!!

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  • Selina@CreativeJuicesDecor

    posted on January 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

    oh I NEED to do this! it is my total weekspot. The free printable isn’t linked up……(when I click it doenst go anywhere…..) Thanks for the encouraging post!

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    Amy Reply:

    @Selina@CreativeJuicesDecor, I wonder if maybe you have a pop-up blocker?? The links are working. If you can’t get them, let me know and I can email.

    xoxo,
    Amy

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  • Vicky

    posted on January 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I usually start the week well-planned but by the end of the week it goes to pot and we end up putting our creative hats on! I love the sheets, so helpful! Thank you for reminding me to be a little more organised and for all the tips!

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  • Val Naegele

    posted on January 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you so much for the downloadable forms. They have really been helping my grocery shopping and meal planning. Living alone and working 10 hour days (not including driving to and from), has made me sloppy and eating whatever is easy. This has been a huge help.

    I have also been loving the soups. I am a big soup fan – they are easy, 1 pot, and are packed with nutrition!

    Again, Thank You for giving away your hard work!!!

    Val Naegele

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Val Naegele, It’s hard when you work long days, isn’t it? I’ve found that being pregnant makes it a little harder too. Just less time on my hands. Still, it’s worth the effort. So glad this is helping!

    Hugs,
    Amy

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  • Darlene

    posted on January 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I started meal planning at the beginning of this year and I love it! Not sure why I didn’t start sooner. I posted ours on our fridge and I know exactly what to take out of the freezer for that night’s dinner.

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  • Sabrina M.

    posted on February 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Combining meal planning methods with grocery sales cycle tracking = even Bigger money savings as well. You can get an idea of when something you need will be going on sale and then plan meals based on that item accordingly. Especially with meat/ poultry and seasonal produce, the savings can be substantial and your per serving costs literally pennies.

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    Amy Reply:

    @Sabrina M., Hi Sabrina! Great to hear from you! Are you still in school. I’m on hiatus for now…waiting for the little baby to get here.

    I agree with you about sales tracking but I rarely do it. So much of what we eat doesn’t go on sale – organic meats, produce, grains. Sprouts does have their gluten-free jubilee 3 or 4 times a year where you get 25% off anything gfree. I stock up on supplies then.

    Hugs,
    Amy

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    Sabrina M. Reply:

    @Amy, I’m so excited for you that the blessed day is so near! Can’t even imagine how joyful and excited you must be to start this new chapter of your life; I know you will be a marvelous mother with all the passion and dedication you give to everything you do =)

    Whole Foods will have some breaks on chicken breasts, fryers, salmon, ground turkey, etc. They do not necessarily have the expensive organic stamp on them but are sans hormones, free range, etc. I’ll stock up on fryers when they’re $1.79/lb, brown rice at $0.99/lb, and great bunches of collard or kale for 2/$3 and have roast chicken and/or soup for weeks.

    Natural Grocer in Richardson tends to have very good sales on their organic-only produce. Only thing I do not like about them is their broccoli; they only sell the crowns, which is fine for eating straightaways but when I make broccoli soup I like having the stalks.

    I’m OCD for numbers so I’ve spent a year tracking the big health stores’ prices on spreadsheets that I then print out and take shopping. That + coupons lets my three cats and I eat healthy at Whole Foods for about $35/ week. Done with school so now I’m just a working girl trying to live well on the cheap :-D

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  • Robyn

    posted on March 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I started meal planning a year ago, it took some time to make it a habit, but once I did, it simplified our lives so much. I too am very pregnant, so planning has kinda been set aside because of my aversions. HOWEVER, we have needed to streamline the process of grocery shopping and food prep even further and I found that I could apply a similar process on my computer and sync it up with our home assistant, who easily shops for us. Now I have all my fav. foods/brands stored on the computer, where I cut and paste weekly for lists… lickity split. Thanks for making an even clearer process out of this, I am sharing it! I am enjoying your recipes tremendously.

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