Limelife Planners

Meal planning can be a daunting task, so today I’m going to break down how I meal plan. Limelife has a lot of different options for meal planners, 2 different formats and lots of different sizes. I’ve used one version or another of Limelife’s meal planner for almost 2 years now! Currently I’m set up in a traveler’s notebook, so this is a cahier sized layout B. Now let’s get planning!
The first thing I do is get myself set up. I TRY to do this on Sunday but it often happens on Monday morning instead. I keep mine with a vinyl pocket to keep coupons in (but do not expect much budgeting here, food shopping is the one place I don’t scrimp!). I start by opening to the new week and putting a sticky note on the side.

Now it’s time to check what (if any) food I currently have. This may be leftover from last week or frozen (let’s just say I love Costco…). I jot these down on the sticky note and decide what I’m going to use. This week I actually had an entire meal that I didn’t make last week, so that needed to be made right away. I also had some bacon in the fridge that needed to be eaten fairly soon (but wasn’t crucial) so I decided to make breakfast burritos on the weekend to use that up.
I also wrote down some frozen Indian food that I decided to save for another week. Along with planning these couple of meals, I jot down on the left margin any plans that interfere with dinner time. Wednesday night I babysit until 5:30 (so that’s always a quick or pre-made dinner) and Thursday night I have class, so my husband is in charge of dinner. Those two things happen every week so I don’t always write them down. BUT also this week my Father-in-law was coming over for the Daddy-Daughter Dance on Friday and Sunday was our monthly dinner with my brother- and sister-in-law.
I like having them written here so I don’t plan a complicated meal that I won’t have enough time to make (or leftovers when guests are over).

Now comes the real planning. I start with dinner and ingredients needed for each meal. I keep quite a bit on hand in my pantry, so my list on the side is not everything needed for all of these recipes. You can see I also organize my list by store. The main store I shop at is Wegmans, and I know the store well. The top of the list section I dedicate to Wegmans and is generally sorted by the side of the store it’s on. After I write down any ingredients for dinners I write down the other things we need. On the bottom I have a list for Costco and Trader Joe’s too. I probably won’t make it there this week but I want to keep track of what I need so I’ll keep these are running lists until I go.
In coming up with these meals I first think about what meat/protein we’ll have and I try to spread them out so we aren’t having chicken 3 nights in a row. I like having a meat free night each week although it doesn’t always happen. I also always plan leftovers- usually one or two nights. Occasionally we won’t have enough leftovers for the second scheduled night and instead it will be eggs or fend for yourself (or pizza if my husband gets his way!). I have quite a few meals that I know, but if I’m looking for something new I’ll browse online. I also will look back to my old meal planners for ideas if I’m stumped and I try and take inspiration from friends and the photos they post on social media.

Finally, I fill in breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is usually boring and consists of cereal, oatmeal, or a fried egg. My husband takes leftovers to work everyday for lunch, but I don’t usually eat them for lunch. Of course this week my menu has two meals that I love to eat leftovers from: sweet potato cakes and burritos. It’s easy for me to get in a rut and eat the same cereal and turkey wrap every day for breakfast and lunch, so planning and thinking about my options encourages more variety and I don’t find myself getting bored. 
My family tends to stick to the plan fairly well. Things happen and days can get moved around but planning it all out helps ensure we don’t go overboard eating out too much! I do try and get input from my husband and kids, but if I left it up to my kids we would be eating orange chicken every night.
I hope this glimpse into my meal planning encourages you to meal plan for your family! Try out a Limelife meal planner and get $10 off your first order here! And share your meal plans on Instagram and tag me @BMooreLuvn. I can’t wait to see what you cook up!