The date December 29th has felt sooo far away on my calendar for so long, I honestly cannot believe it’s finally here (isn’t it still March? haha). The wait is over … you can now have my new Meal Planner workbook in your hands today! I cannot wait to share exactly how I organize my personal meal planning system (that has taken me years to perfect) so you can get started!
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Why Meal Plan?
Planning ahead is the key to cutting out processed food!
Meal Planning will help you…
- Eat better
- Save money
- Save time
Of course, we all want to save money and time, but I can’t stress enough how MEAL PLANNING is truly the answer to cleaning up your (and your family’s) diet! I assure you, it would be really hard for anyone to eat right (meaning, it probably wouldn’t happen) if you were constantly winging it. I know personally that my family would not eat nearly as much real food if I weren’t thinking ahead and planning out at least some of our meals.
And that’s the thing, meal planning does not have to be all or nothing. I would go nuts if I had to spend all that time planning out every single breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner … I mean, who knows what I’ll be reaching for when I’m hungry at 4pm on Thursday? (And who wants to have to prep something for every single one of those meals? Not me!)
I’m mainly talking about DINNER PLANNING with some idea as to what you’ll have on hand for everything else. But how to organize everything and make it happen are exactly the secrets I share with you in my new Meal Planner. I teach you how to follow my tried-and-true system that gets real food on the table at our house day after day. (In addition to a bunch of great templates and resources to make it happen!)
Your Questions about the Meal Planner Answered
- What is the format of the workbook?
It has a solid hardcover with a hidden spiral-bound spine so it’ll lay flat easily. The pages can be written on throughout, and the blank weekly planning and grocery templates are perforated for easy tear-out (if desired).
- Does it come with blank or completed meal plan templates?
Both! The workbook comes with four seasonal meal plans (using the one-dish dinner recipes listed below) complete with shopping lists organized by store department to help you get started. Then it also comes with a year’s worth of blank weekly planning and shopping list templates!
- Are there recipes in the Meal Planner (and are they allergy and kid-friendly)?
Yes to all of that! There are 20 one-dish dinner recipes, all noted like my other cookbooks to show if they are gluten-free, vegetarian, etc., and here is the full list…
– Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
– Simple Broccoli and Sausage Pasta
– Roasted Veggie “Tostadas”
– Chicken Curry Skillet
– Easy Tamale Pie
– Creamy Coconut Fish
– Easy Flank Steak Taco Bowls
– Greek Chicken Lemonato
– Kale and Ricotta Quesadillas
– Chicken and Wild Mushroom Skillet
– Pesto Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
– Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Fajitas
– Kale and Tomato Alfredo
– Huevos Rancheros Casserole
– Asian Balsamic Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
– Chicken “Enchilada” Stuffed Peppers
– Roasted Chickpea and Veggie Couscous Bowls
– White Chicken Pasta Bake with Peas
– Slow Cooker Brisket Tacos
– Easy Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers
You can also see pictures of each of these recipes here!
- I’m worried about getting overwhelmed. What do you suggest I do/look at first? How do I get started?
When you get the book simply go straight to page 2 where I show you samples of how to use the included templates. Then, right after that, on page 7 you can start following my step-by-step meal planning process that I’ve outlined there. The first step is to set up your Weekly Planning Sessions on your calendar (that’ll be the time when you will sit down each week and plan out your dinners + grocery list). I walk you through the whole process at the beginning of the book and it really is simple once you get the hang of it!
- What’s the deal with the laminated inserts?
On the inside pocket of the workbook you’ll find two laminated planners for your fridge! One is for writing up your dinner plan and the other is to help you figure out school lunches (the kids will fill that one out so you’ll know what to buy for them!). All you’ll need is a couple of magnets and a dry erase marker and you’ll be good to go.
- Where can I buy the Meal Planner?
You can buy it anywhere books are sold! Such as your local bookseller, Target (in stores or online), Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
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Some Unexpected Surprises
I was so excited to receive the first copies of my new Meal Planner a couple of months ago and immediately started using it. While I was anticipating so many features that I planned for, there were actually quite a few bonuses that I quickly discovered and love!
- You have the option to tear out your weekly shopping list, but the workbook itself fits so nicely in the shopping cart. I love how it’s sturdy with a solid surface for crossing off your list, and the spiral binding is the perfect spot to hold your pen!
- Another reason I’ve decided not to tear out my weekly planning templates and lists is that I’ve learned it is so helpful to keep a record of your past meals and lists (something I’ve never done before!). For example…
>Just completed your grocery list, but feel like you’re maybe missing something that you normally buy? Just look back at what you bought last week and the week before to jog your memory.
>Can’t think of any exciting dinner ideas for the upcoming week? Simply look back at what you ate weeks or months ago, and I bet you’ll find something yummy that you forgot about!
- Especially in the current environment where supply and demand is still unpredictable due to the pandemic, I love having access to the next Weekly Template at the store for when an ingredient is sold out (so I can make a note of it). Just the other day the store was completely out of whole-wheat breadcrumbs, which I was getting low on at home, so I just flipped to the next week and added it to the “Jot Down Shopping List” so I’d remember to try to buy them again the next time I went to the store. I’ve never felt so organized!
So, who’s ready to get on top of your meal planning in the New Year? This could be your fridge (since this is one of the laminated inserts that’s included) starting now! I hope you love this new Meal Planner as much as I do and that it helps you accomplish some of your goals in 2021. :)