How I Meal Plan

Oh, meal planning.  It’s the worst.  You would think that because I teach and, like, plan lessons for a living, that I would be good at planning a week’s worth of meals using cookbooks and Pinterest as my guide.


You would be wrong.


Somehow, planning for this is incredibly stressful and I routinely get into recipe ruts even though I have 10 cookbooks and the interwebs to peruse. I think it’s just really overstimulating.  


Yes, we’ll go with that.


But alas, I’m even WORSE at coming up with meals on the fly, so to speak, and nothing is more exhausting than even thinking about making a mid-week grocery run (if it’s not for ice cream.  Or rice krispie treats).  So, meal planning it is.  I used to meal plan on paper and then I could cross things out as I went, but I gave up on that because, you know, iPhone.  


I religiously wrote down everything on paper and then transferred it to the notes app on my phone.  Because again, I’m an idiot and obviously like to make more work for myself.  And, then I realized I could use Google Docs and my world made sense again.


Do you have a G-Mail account?  Good, because your world is about to become even more amazing.  

(1) First, sign up for a Google Docs account.  If you have a gmail account, you already have one.  Go to the Google Apps (the 3×3 set of squares) and go to “Drive.”

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(2) Then, click “Create” then “document”.

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(3) Then, a new tab will open and you’ll have a fantastic looking blank document.  You can change the name of the document by clicking on the words “Untitled Document” and you can change the name as much as you want!  Perfect for weekly meal-planning. 


(4) In terms of planning, I like to write down what we’re having each day.  And, then, if it’s not a recipe I’m super familiar with, I link the blog post that it’s from to the name of the meal.

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(5) We only go to 2-3 places to get groceries.  The main one being Wal-Mart and I know the layout of both local stores like the back of my hand.  So, I organize my list in the most efficient way possible…by relative product location in the store.  Whatever I can’t get at Wal-Mart, I’ll go to HyVee or our local Co-Op to get. 

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(6) But, you might be asking, you just told me how to do this on my computer…how do you take this with you?  Do you print it?  Oh no, sweet friend.  I bring you…the Google Drive App.  I pull the list that I made on the comfort of my couch on my phone and then go off on my merry way!




The beauty of this is that Hubby is “shared” on this document so he can add anything he needs (i.e.: razor blades) so he doesn’t have to remember to tell me verbally.  He also can express, um, concerns, about menu items if he’s not feeling it that week or wants to make a dinner request.  


I still hate meal planning.  With a passion.  But this method has made it a lot more bearable.  Meal prepping though, that’s another story…


What method do you use for meal planning?



PS: I was in no way sponsored in this post.  I really just love Google apps.  Please don’t sue me!


6 thoughts on “How I Meal Plan

  1. This is an absolutely wonderful idea! I love it. I’m just getting acclimated to Google+ right now and don’t even know all of the features yet, so I can’t wait to try this out and make more use of it!

    • I’m not super familiar with Google+, but at work, we are pretty much required to use Google Docs and now I can’t live with out it. It’s super intuitive. 🙂

  2. I’m embarrassingly unorganized when it comes to lists and this is such an obvious but genius idea! Life is so much less stressful when I take the time to meal plan, but I don’t know how many times we’ve been out and decided to stop at the store and I realize my list is at home!

  3. We also meal plan. When we started I found it to be torturous (dramatic, I realize). But now, I just really appreciate how much easier it makes our life every week, and we save money. We just make a paper list, but google doc is actually a really good idea!

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