Monday Meal Planning Tips

For the *longest* time,I have struggled with meal planning (or lack thereof) and the amount of money spent at the grocery store, ordering out and going out to eat. But, my biggest mistake was going to the grocery store without a plan or while hungry, without knowing what I already had in my house. I would get home and realize I didn’t have that can of black beans that I thought I did, or realize I already had two unopened packages of tortillas. *face palm*

I was scrolling Instagram the other day – and I really wish I could remember who’s account I stumbled on, but I can’t :/ – and I had a light-bulb moment. It was the best meal-planning idea I had seen so far!! So, I decided to sit down and tackle it and then share it here! I hope it helps you as well!

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I created four weekly meal plans, complete with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and items for Gracie. Each week, I’ll choose a menu and that’s our meal plan for the week. From the meal plan, all I need to do is create a shopping list based on the menu and the items that I already have in the house, and go to the store.

I first started by making three lists: a list of 30 of our favorite meals, pantry staples we always need/use and which items I prefer to buy from which store. I usually shop at Trader Joe’s and Market Basket/Stop’n’Shop.

Next, I searched Pinterest and I found this printable weekly menu/shopping list. There are dozens to choose from, but this is just the one that I used! I like pretty fonts 🙂

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Then, I looked at that week, and picked one meal that we would eat out or order out. Looking at my list of 30 meals, I decided that I wanted 4-5 poultry meals and 2 beef meals each week. I mixed it up so we weren’t eating all Mexican one week and all Italian the next 🙂 I filled all the dinners in first and then moved on to lunches. Keith’s company provides breakfast and lunch for him each day, so I just had to worry about Gracie and I during the week, and two weekend days. Because Keith doesn’t usually get home until 7-7:15, and Gracie eats dinner around 5-5:30, her dinner is not always the same as ours, so I made sure to include her dinners as well.

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I took all my meals that are on Pinterest and created a new board so that I can easily find them when I’m making dinner – link to that board is here.

Lastly, I made the grocery list based on what we needed to make the meals for that week! (This was the most time consuming part of this project, but I was in the home stretch!!) I also created a list of those staples we always randomly need (seltzer water, paper towels, snacks, dog treats, etc). Each Sunday, I’ll look at the list and write out everything that we are out of or low on. I’m hoping to cut down to two weekly trips to the store. Gracie goes through milk and fresh fruits in a matter of days, so I’ll do one big trip and then a quick one mid-week.

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My plan is to change the weekly menus up seasonally. We have staple meals that we always have, but for example, in the winter we eat a lot more soups and comfort-food casseroles. In the warmer months, I’ll add more salads and grilled items.

I worked on this project off and on all weekend, but I would say it probably took me about 3-4 hours total. Yes, it was time consuming, but I think it’s going to save me so much time and money in the coming months!!

I also printed out this weekly calendar to hang on our fridge and make notes about our week. For example, tomorrow we are going to a Valentine’s party and am bringing a fruit snack, and we are celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday on Saturday and need to pick up a cake. The nice thing about this calendar is that I can make any modifications to my meal plan for the week based on our schedule. Because Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, I’m switching up our dinner and then Saturday, we have a birthday party. So for those two nights, I’ll omit the ingredients for those meals.

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Since we were snowed in for most of the weekend (and still are!!) this was the perfect weekend to tackle this project!

Do you meal plan? Do you have any other tips? I would love to hear them!

Linking up with Biana


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Weekending: The one when we won the Superbowl!

Gooooood Morning!!!!!! If you are a fellow member of Pats Nation, then you are probably a) hungover b) still asleep c) still in shock over that amazing, historical SB win or d) all of the above!!! (I’m C, just for reference …. someone has to get up with Gracie at 6am 😉 )

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Our weekend was fairly low-key and I don’t have many photos to show for it, but here’s a quick little recap!

Gracie caught the stomach bug on Thursday morning at 2:45am, so that kind of lingered into Friday and by Saturday morning, she was feeling much better and back to her happy, sassy little self 😉

I took a class on Saturday on Basic Firearms Safety with a couple of my friends, and as someone who has never been near a firearm, I learned a TON. Given the state of this crazy world we live in and that my husband travels for work, I think at some point I will continue this process, but for now I am going to take some more classes in proper use of pepper spray and self-defense. You can never be too safe or prepared!

While I was at my class, Keith took Gracie to an indoor bouncy house place, and then proceeded to lose her “lovie”. This is her most prized possession and she cannot ever be without it! Fortunately, someone turned it into their lost and found, and I went back in the afternoon to retrieve it!

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Sunday was GAME DAY! So other than going to the grocery store and cleaning the house, we pretty much waited around for the kick-off!!! And boy oh boy, what a freaking game. We are (obviously) die-hard Patriots fans in this house, and those first three quarters were UGLY (for us, ha, Atlanta played out of their minds!). But that 4th quarter comeback – man oh man. THAT was the team we know and love … maybe they were just letting Atlanta tire themselves out in the first three quarters so we could come back to win it all?! Tom Brady and Bill Belichick set a new record of most SB wins with a coach-QB combo; TB is the greatest of all time (not that we had any doubt); it was the first SB to go to OT; and the first time to ever come back from a 28-3 deficit to WIN IT ALL. Seriously incredible.

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Oh, and let’s talk about that half-time show! I have a love/hate relationship with Lady Gaga. I love her in that I think she is exceptionally talented but also think she just pushes the envelope too much sometimes. However, her performance was incredible. I do think that she lip-synched part of her performance and I tend to lose a little bit of respect for performers that do that, but her piano solo? Absolutely amazing. She killed it.

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And the commercials! Did you have a favorite? I loved the “bai” one with JT!

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Happy Monday friends!!!

Linking up with Biana <3


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Monthly Recap: January 2017

Well, I blinked and it’s now January 31. How did that happen?!

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We’ve had a busy month for sure, and since I still haven’t gotten back on track with weekly blogs, I’m going to do a monthly recap each month!

Mimimalizing: I watched the Netflix documentary on Minimalism and boy was it an eye-opener. We live in a really small space (more on that below), and I feel like our condo is just overrun with toys and things we don’t really need. I started small, and have been working my way through closets and cabinets. We’ve already gotten rid of SO many things!!! It makes shopping easier too, I don’t buy random things anymore unless I really love it and it serves a valid purpose. My wallet thanks me too!!

I didn't take many photos but this is the pile of her clothes that we started with - WAYYYY TOO MANY!!
I didn’t take many photos but this is the pile of her clothes that we started with – WAYYYY TOO MANY!!

Condo/House Update: Back in early November, we signed a contingent agreement to buy a house, but we needed to sell our condo first. So far we’ve had over 20 showings, 4 open houses and 1 lousy offer. Sadly, we lost the house we wanted to purchase last week, as the sellers couldn’t wait for us any longer. Understandable, but still really upsetting and disappointing. Not to mention that keeping our condo in constant “show” state with a toddler and a dog is exhausting. We are at a crossroads now and trying to decide if we should take the condo off the market and wait another year, or continue powering through now that the spring market is slowly heating up.

Subliminal message on our chalkboard wall ;)
Subliminal message on our chalkboard wall 😉

Grace: This has been a big month for Gracie! We are back on track with potty training (someone went through a HUGE regression in November); she started swim lessons and is doing amazing; and she started at a new drop-off play group two mornings a week. She loves being back in “school”! She is a child who thrives on a routine and schedule, and she loves making new friends!

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Vacation Plans: We booked our family summer vacation! My younger sister is getting married 4th of July weekend in Hilton Head Island, SC! We love, love Hilton Head and are so excited to be going back for a week! We rented a house and already booked our flights.

We are also trying to decide what to do for our anniversary in September since it’s our five year!

Fun Activites!: We love playdates with friends, cupcake baking classes, spending time with family and our friends!

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Favorite Looks: A few of our favorite outfits from this month! Its been cold, and I wear a ton of athleisure if we aren’t doing anything super exciting 😉

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Trying on her new “swimsoup” before swim lessons!!

And oh yes, how could I forget to mention this – our Patriots are Superbowl bound!!! We can’t wait for the big game this weekend!!

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We hope y’all had a great month!!!


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