Meal Planning 101

Today marks 2 weeks since my abdominoplasty/excess skin removal surgery. These first 2 weeks have been all about easy when it comes to the meal department. We were blessed to be overwhelmed with amazing meals that people made for us most of the first week. The second week was all about convenience, whatever was easy for the hubs to make or me to throw together or pick up. I wasn’t stressing about the food, I was focused on rest. I’ve been feeling better and better and know that I need to get back to meal planning to make sure we have healthy meal options available. I want to make sure I get the best results and fuel my body to continue recovering well. So, it was back to meal planning!


I absolutely credit meal planning with saving me time, money, and sanity. I just can’t live with that nagging 3pm question “What’s for dinner?” and the frantic dash to come up with something that everyone will eat and that is relatively healthy. Not to mention running to the store every day for the few ingredients that are missing for whatever dish you decide on adds up (because no one ever comes out of Target with just the one thing they went in for…)

Everyone has their own system for what works for them, I’m just going to share what works for me. I try my hardest to keep it simple. With life as busy as it is now I can’t spend hours slaving away in the kitchen each night. Planning ahead is the key. The two main tools I use for meal planning are Pinterest and EvernoteI have a few Pinterest boards that feature not only some repeat favorites for meals but also ideas of things I want to try.

 Follow Courtney Norman’s board Dinner. on Pinterest.

I’ll look it over for new ideas and make a meal plan for the week in Evernote. I love Evernote because it syncs across all my devices. I’ll make my meal plan on my laptop and have it on my phone and iPad when I need to refer back to it. It seriously is just stupid simple.


I also just plan dinners. Lunch is usually something easy like a salad or sandwiches or leftovers and breakfast is always some kind of eggs. As I’m planning out the meals I add to my shopping list, which is just another note on Evernote. I use the little checkboxes because I love checking them off as I’m shopping.


I do most of this Sunday morning before I go shopping. I also check out the weekly ad for Target and use the Cartwheel app to look for good deals. I sometimes look for coupons, but I always forget them so I don’t make too big of a deal about it. Keep it simple, remember?

I do most of our shopping at Target and then make a quick trip to the local grocery store, Dierburgs, for most Produce, Meats, and Specialty items. I would say we average around $150 a week or so in groceries.

I also remain flexible. Last night Bratwurst was on the meal plan but we were out of propane and exhausted… so we improvised… and ordered a Pizza. #realtalk


So there you have it. Super simple meal planning. Like I almost feel silly writing a whole post about it because it’s so simple. Yes, you could use paper for your lists. But I love the little check boxes on evernote. I also paste the pins in evernote when trying a new recipe for quick reference. Since we typically are coaching until at least 7pm during the week, I try to cook dinner at lunch time so it is prepped when we get home. If I don’t have dinner ready there is an 89% chance I will pick up chickfila. And some nights that’s ok. I just try not to do that too often.

Do you meal plan?



5 thoughts on “Meal Planning 101”

  1. Evernote??? So does this sync across devices on more that one device ie, my husbands phone and mine??? Love the idea of a shared list!


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