Try this method to meal plan your weekly dinner recipes. It is fully visual, saves time, and stores everything on the oh-so-wonderful Pinterest app.
Anxiety about dinner hour
Dinner time can be such a pain. When 3 o’clock rolls around, I begin to have pre-dinnertime anxiety about choosing what to make for that night’s meal. Occasionally, I procrastinate, hoping that will alleviate the stress.
If I don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist, right? Or, perhaps it will magically prepare itself and be ready before 6.
One can only wish.
I do love my Echo Dot. But she definitely can’t do this job for me. So then, the clock nears the 7:00 hour, both kids whine for snacks, and now I’m stuck with frozen meat, an empty snack drawer, and I’m ready to serve cold cereal for dinner.
Have you been there?
This happens almost every time I fail to meal plan in advance.
Alleviate stress: plan ahead
If I plan ahead and choose a meal for each day of the week it lessens my daily, dinner-hour stress. I’m more prepared and less likely to procrastinate the seemingly giant decision of choosing what to feed the family.
And most importantly, we are more likely to have dinner on time so we avoid the whining and the unnecessary snacking.
Meal planning apps
I feel like I have tried every meal planning app under the sun (at least the free ones). I don’t love any of them. Perhaps it is because I try new recipes every week so it is time-consuming to consistently import new recipes.
I discover the majority of my recipes on Pinterest or from my favorite food blogging sites like this one (which I subsequently save to my Pinterest boards). Or, I find a recipe from a Google search and–if it’s a keeper–save it to Pinterest.
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest
No matter where I find a recipe, I find myself back on Pinterest to store my recipes.
So, instead of switching between Pinterest, Google, web pages, a meal planning app, AND a grocery list, I decided to put it all in one place; I now use Pinterest as my meal planning app and inspiration.
How I use Pinterest to meal plan
Pinterest board subsections
Pinterest’s new section feature allows you to split up your Pinterest board into subsections. Using this I divided my Recipes | Our Weekly Menu into 7 sections; there is one for each day of the week. As I meal plan, I simply organize each meal on its designated day. If needed, I add sides if they have separate preparation ingredients and instructions.
It’s super easy and fully visual! At a glance, I see what is on our menu for the day and I can easily plan ahead and get out the meat to thaw in time.
Create a shopping list
Granted, it doesn’t automatically create a shopping list for me with each recipe’s ingredient list (as many of the meal-planning apps do). However, I don’t like that feature because I often keep the same foods stocked in my fridge and pantry so I usually only need to add a single ingredient or two to my shopping list. I simply glance at each pin and add any needed ingredients.
For this method, I don’t have to import any recipes or manually add ingredients to an app; Pinterest stores all of that information for me!
Reorganize and meal plan for next week
At the end of each week, I reorganize the board. I move each recipe either back into my favorite recipes board (if it was delicious), or I delete the pin (if it wasn’t a winner). Then, I choose new recipes for the upcoming week.
See for yourself
Click here to see my personal weekly meal plan on my Recipes | Our Weekly Menu Pinterest board. And if you want to see my tried-and-true favorites, categorized by cuisine, check out my Recipes | Our Favorites board.
How do you survive the hectic dinner hours? Let us know in the comments.
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