I am the queen of the spreadsheet! There is not a spreadsheet that I haven’t adored at one time or another in my life! And one of my best uses of a spreadsheet has been meal planning! I have tried several methods of meal planning over the different seasons of my life and two of them have served me well.
Two Week Menu Planning for a Family on the Go
The first meal planning method I used is when I was in my late 20’s and 30’s. I had three little kids, I was running a business with my husband, and life couldn’t be more busy. We had soccer practice, baseball practice, horseback riding lessons, youth group, church activities and school. We were always going.
My main focus was getting healthy meals on the table, quickly and as easily as possible. Occasionally, I might try something new, but for the most part I just wanted something that I knew everyone liked and that I could get on the table in 30 minutes or so.
I created a spreadsheet with 2 two-week meal plans, and a grocery list for each, rotating between them.
I planned in two week increments to reduce visits to the grocery store because that was always a production! Also, it kept the menu fresh while rotating through favorites and requiring little to no planning. It was perfect during that time of my life.
Weekly Menu Planning
As my kids have grown older, and I have a little more time on my hands to be creative with my menus, I have moved to a weekly schedule.
Every Monday is my day to clean out the refrigerator, use what I didn’t use the previous week, and look at my calendar to plan for the week and the week’s menu.
I have a new spreadsheet that works with my ever-changing schedule. Also, my children and husband will often cook a meal now and again. So creating a weekly schedule gives everyone opportunities for creativity in the kitchen. I send out a text to asking if anyone wants to cook something, get the list of ingredients, and make a list of what else we might need.
The family has gotten good at telling Alexa to add items to the grocery list throughout the week. So I check with Alexa to see what has been added, and go online to create a shopping order. H-E-B Curbside has become my best friend. I order everything online and go to pick it up as I am picking up my kiddo from school!
I cannot tell you how much I love curbside pickup (where was this when I was shopping with the littles??)
Menu planning has saved me so much time, money, and frustration over the years. I never have to wonder what’s for dinner, I clean out the fridge weekly (which avoids some REALLY gross complications), and that means less waste which makes me happy!
Let me know if one of these plans could help you…I would love to share them with you! Sign up below with MENU PLAN in the memo and I will send them straight to your Inbox!