Geek Life

The Gamerwife Guide to Menu Planning [FREE PRINTABLE]

As you may have noticed in my previous posts, I’ve been doing a lot of running around lately, which, while fun, has had devastating consequences on our ability to keep to a schedule. We’ve been eating out a lot more, which hasn’t been good for our pocket books, and it’s also been a lot harder for me to avoid eating things on my laundry list of food allergens. So on top of not having clean laundry and no money, I’ve also been battling one of my worst eczema outbreaks in recent memory.

Which isn’t exactly where I saw myself two weeks before we leave on the trip of a lifetime, a.k.a. my honeymoon. So, what’s a sensible Gamerwife to do?

To Pinterest!

No, really.

As you’ve likely deduced from the title of this post, I’m talking specifically about the Menu Planning aspect of getting into a routine. Well, Pinterest is actually an integral part of how this gets done in the Gamerwife house.

I have two Pinboards I use for menu planning. One called “Yummy Food” where I stash any and all recipes that appeal to me, whether they’re for entertaining, are for jam, or would actually be weeknight appropriate. Then, once a week I cull my “Yummy Food” board and put 4 recipes I’d like to make that week into my “This Week” board. Sometimes it’ll be more about a theme than a specific recipe, so I’ll put extra recipe that work on that theme for inspiration.

Then, once a week over coffee, usually Sunday, Rick and I will go over the recipes I’ve picked out. If Rick’s had time to find any recipes himself or has any suggestions we’ll add those to the pinboard as well. Then, once we’ve settled what’s on the menu, we decide who wants to cook what and who is cooking on what day. At that point I can start writing stuff down on our awesome custom menu planning sheets, which I’ve helpfully included as a printable Menu Plan for all of you!

Then, I print off all the recipes and use that to make our shopping list (using the space I included in the menu planning sheet). I keep the menu plan and the stack of recipes (in order, natch) side by side on the fridge with magnet clips for easy reference. I use my iPad or Rick’s phone to take a photo of the shopping list and away we go to the farmer’s market to get our food for the week.

Since we don’t have a car, shopping once a week works best for us, and we’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of an absolutely amazing farmer’s market. After falling off the wagon for awhile, we’re both trying hard to eat more vegetables and feel better in general. And the best way to do that is together.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Jane Yoo
    September 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

    This is really helpful to know though in terms of how you do meal planning! I literally write chicken scratches on a piece of paper! I love how you use Pinterest to do meal planning. Never thought of that!

  • Reply
    Mariko
    September 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I will find a way to work Pinterest into almost any activity, it’s a bit of a sickness. 😉 The other thing that I forgot to mention is that Pinterest makes the recipes recipe links easy to find for both Rick and I, and the visual aspect helps in that regard too.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    September 5, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I should prolly be doing the menu planning thing but it’s just not me really. And we pretty much eat the same three things every night anyway so no point to be honest xD I am getting sick of that though so maybe I should get in on this~

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 5, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Instead of planning out an entire week’s worth of meals, maybe just pick one new thing a week to try to start? You could make it into a family activity and get everyone involved.

  • Reply
    Mariko
    September 5, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Also, because I’ve gotten some requests, you can view my Yummy Food board here: http://pinterest.com/gamerwife/yummy-food/

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