To regular readers of this blog, it is no surprise that I love lists. Writing down a list of things to do, meals to cook, or any other aspect of my life that needs some order makes me feel functional and in control. And crossing things off a list? Well, that is downright euphoric.
So, of COURSE I use lists when meal planning! In fact, most people I know, be they famous cookbook authors or my neighbors down the street, use lists for meal planning. Everyone’s technique is different, but here are the steps I go through when setting up my menu:
Step 1: Grab a piece of paper* and start shopping in your pantry and seeing what you have on hand (including fridge and freezer leftovers). Then, browse recipes that use these ingredients – but keep your weeknight criteria in mind!
Step 3: Draw a line under your recipes and list the ingredients you need to buy. Now you have a grocery list!
Step 4: To the right of your grocery list, write down the things you can make ahead on the weekend. (More about what to do with this list will follow next week).
Post this list on the fridge and you’ll never have to wonder
“what am I going to make for dinner tonight????!!!”
Once again, lists to the rescue!
*Yeah, I’m old school. I know plenty of people who love their phone apps for this, so if you have a meal planning app, or just a way to do this electronically that you love, go for it!