Tuesday, July 19, 2016

meal planning.

So hopefully I didn't lose you on that title.  With my life being a bit chaotic the past few months I wanted something to being constant, something that would help me feel grounded and a bit more organized.  Truth be told I wasn't really finding the joy or excitement of making dinner (yes, most of the time I enjoy cooking.)  But it was stressing me out and I was just TOO tired to be creative so it was the same old thing, made at the last minute so we were eating later and later.  I kept thinking on it, and yes praying about it.

And then one day, this little idea came into my mind.  I expressed what I wanted to do with my husband, which helped me to solidify what I was thinking.  I was describing what I was wanting to do, he came up with a few ideas which led me to google meal planning.  (the key to google is getting the RIGHT word connection)

Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. People are generous, there are FREE templates on google that people just put out there!  There are several different templates that would do the job but I picked a couple-(I'll show you below)

2. Google Drive is AWESOME, my husband tried to sell me on it a few years ago.  I wasn't interested... You have 15 GB of FREE storage!  You can store documents, spreadsheets, slides, and more.  My kids all have used it for school projects.  You can create folders to organize these things, AND you can share them with other people who have the option to edit, or read only.  I know that gmail is connected to it--and it's SMART.  It saves ANY edits you have done without having to hit SAVE.  

3.  Not only can I access my documents on my computer but also on my cellphone!

So I began to see the benefits of this meal planning for my daughter who is off to college this Fall.  She is not only going to be a full time student living HOURS from home, but also an athlete.  Her life is going to be BUSY and she isn't going to have a lot of time.  

These are the two templates I decided to use, both by Vertex42:

If you click on the link to their website they have GREAT tutorials on how to use ANY of their templates.  I liked each of these because of their clean lines, and option to customize EXACTLY how I wanted.  I picked the monthly planner for the entire family, and the weekly planner for my daughter. 

The weekly planner includes, breakfast, lunch and snacks...  Having my menu planner done for a month has helped me only buy the things I need but ALSO remember to use things that I have always forgotten about in the fridge.  So say you have something that requires an unusual ingredient, you can remember to find something else that uses it and have a plan for it!

The best way to get to know these templates is to play around with them--that's how I learned!  I have even had a friend over and showed her how to use it.  It took maybe 30 minutes (she didn't have a gmail, and wasn't familiar with google) I promise it's easy, I am not the most knowledgeable about technology, but I can get by.  And YouTube helped me out BUNCHES!  

I plan on having another post about this soon, my daughter and I created a personalized grocery list (we couldn't find one we liked), I'm not sure how to share it but I'm willing to try if anyone is interested... I also created a budget for school clothes, food/fun.  BTW, the word budget is not my favorite word. ;)

If you have ANY questions please feel free to ask, I'm excited to share what I know!  

1 comment:

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Meal planning is the best! I have been doing it for years and I love it! Glad you are liking it too!!!!!!!!!!