When Meal Planning Goes Awry

Last week I went to the grocery store at least five times. While that may not be unusual for some of you, it’s VERY unusual for me. You see, I had not followed my own advice to make a REAL meal plan. Oh, I’d done it in my head and made out my grocery list but I forgot some key details. And I paid for it by taking lots of extra time out of my days to stop at the store because I had not fully thought out our meal plan and forgot key ingredients or items we needed for special activities. I hated it.

You see, although meal planning has pretty much become a habit for me, I’ve come to realize that I rely on writing things down. Off my mind, on the paper, on to something else and I can refer to it later. So I guess I thought I could do this thing from memory. I should know better. My memory just isn’t what it used to be–so many things to keep track of!

This week I didn’t do much better. I scribbled our meal plan on the edge of my grocery list. And while that worked ok, I later got hit with some serious allergies that have really slowed me down. The good news I was actually able to stick to the meal plan pretty well so far this week. But I don’t like that I’m flying by the seat of my pants.

This is the meal planning chart I keep on my fridge. Helps answer those "what's for dinner (lunch, breakfast, snack)?" questions.

When I use my meal plan chart, it’s all written down and off my mind. So I can fill my mind with more interesting things or to-dos. So I did take some time to get our meal plan written down. You can download one of my older charts here. (new chart coming soon). I printed it out and laminated it so I could use it over and over each week. Very handy. And a little “green” too.

So, the moral of this story is that even meal planning gurus like me have off weeks. And that’s ok. We’re all human, myself included. So here’s to next week and getting back on track. If you’ve not jumped on the same track, why don’t you do it with me now?


  1. I try to hit the store only once a week, max, and that’s because we go through a TON of fresh produce. I generally can’t plan meals ahead that far because I am fickle in my cravings for specific items :)

  2. Ugh. I’m still doing a monthly plan (just for dinner) but this last week was “let’s be creative with what we have.” Which means I do not want to go grocery shopping or think that much ahead for April. It is so freeing once it is done but it is sometimes getting there (which means you wing it, which means you spend more time on it…and then get frustrated and go back through that whole circle again). Thank you so much for your blog – it keeps me motivated and thinking of how to make this all as painless as possible.

    • Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says:

      I know what you mean Jennifer! Sometimes it is freeing to wing it but when I have to make so many multiple trips to the store I am kicking myself at the end of it. If I just write down the basics I can fill in the “wing-ins”. Glad my blog helps to motivate you a bit!


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