Useful Tips for Meal Planning + 5 Helpful Bullet Journal Spreads

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Hey Everyone! It’s Jerica here from JericaPlans. By night, I am a planner, professional bujo beginner and washi tape artist but by day, I am actually a Nutritionist. Part of my studies was learning how to prepare meals for restaurants and for the regular home cook. This blog will show you 4 helpful spreads to help you meal plan in your bullet journal and provide you some tips on picking meals that are best for your waist and your wallet. 


Here is what you will need:


Why Should You Meal Prep? 

Let’s be honest, how many times have you looked up at the end of your work day and realized you have no idea what you will be making for dinner? Or you are running late to work and did not have time to make lunch? 


Here are some reasons you should meal prep: 

  • Saves You Time - While prepping entire meals one weekday or even taking the time to prepare vegetables for meals throughout the week, planning ahead for your meals will save you so much time throughout the week. 
  • Good For The Budget - Meal prepping can save you money because you are prepared, you are less likely to randomly order out for meals. Also, by planning out your shopping list, you are more likely to stick to your monthly food budget. 
  • More Control - Prepping your meals gives you much more control over your calorie consumption and nutrients. If you are trying to watch what you eat, meal prepping is something you should consider because no matter the lifestyle change, such as counting macros or counting your points, you are able to control it more. 

Meal Planning Ideas 

First thing you should do is write out your meal ideas into categories to make things easier to choose from when you start to plan out your week. Ideally you want to have 3-4 meals in each section so you can have variety to choose from. 

meal prepping spread

Also, keep your recipes simple. You want to make sure your meal prep is manageable so you are more likely to continue the process, then when you have mastered it, you can add more difficult things to prepare. For example, one pan meals are my favorite thing to prepare because the clean up is so easy! You just do not want to overwhelm yourself when you are just starting out. 

You can also use this spread to write out your family favorite meals as well! You can model the spread from the one I have created or if you want to keep a running list, make each category into its own page!


Picking Your Meals 

When picking your meals for the week, it will be better on your wallet to pick meals that use similar ingredients so you can cross use the items throughout the week. 

For example, if you are making chicken enchiladas for dinner one night, you may want to pick chicken quesadillas for lunch prep. Both recipes call for the same ingredients, such as tortillas, cheese and chicken. Then on your grocery list, you can buy these items in bulk.

meal picker

This is also helpful if you are prepping ingredients ahead of time, if several recipes call for chopped onion, check to see how much onion you will need for all the recipes then prep it all at once. 

Also, start small! It is so difficult to meal prep for an entire month so maybe just meal prep your lunch for the week or do one week of meals at the same time. Pick a meal time where you are the weakest at, such as if you never have time for breakfast, start with that. 


What’s in Your Pantry?

pantry inventory

Now that you have a plan in place, it is time to inventory your ingredients at home. Check your freezer, fridge and pantry to see what items you already have on hand for your recipes.

fridge inventory

 

Shopping List 

Then add things you need to the shopping list spread or to the printable I have provided for you.

shopping list

If you want to add more detail, you can also create a spread for each store you want to visit. For example, I love one store for fresh items but I enjoy another store for pantry staples. 

If you are looking for more meal prepping spreads, please check out Masha Blog

You can also check out this time-lapse video of how I created this Inventory spread.

 

Free Printable

Please enjoy my free printables to use to keep track of your food inventory. I made one for the pantry and one for the fridge. Enjoy!

meal prep printable

Thank you so much for reading my blog and hopefully you are able to walk away with some helpful tips. Be sure to tag me @JericaPlans and @ArcherandOlive to show us your meal prep plans!

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