Day 15 - Meal Planning


I don't know about you, but one of the most dreaded questions I know is "What's for dinner?". I stopped playing that game when I started planning my meals. And I don't mean grocery shopping, I mean MEAL PLANNING. Compiling a list of options that my family enjoys, noting how complex or time consuming they are, and then lining these options up for the week into a Menu helps me to do the RIGHT grocery shopping and NOT WASTE food. I transcribe my list to the Kitchen Chalk Board so hubby (who always gets home first and does most of the cooking) can see what we have in the fridge and what to pair it with. Brilliant. 

Go to Meal List

Take all the guessing out of what you are going to eat this week. I have a layout dedicated to the meals that my family enjoyed the most. I separated them by protein (chicken, steak, or vegetarian). Chocolate is still not a protein. Bugger.

I would recommend that you call out if it's an easy/fast dish or hard/time-consuming. Creating a symbol to represent this is a great visual way to call it out. Add these symbols to your Key!

I also have a section that includes "Meals to Try" and a folded page with a printed recipe to follow. 

Recipe Pages

Call me old fashioned, but if it a recipe I have made more than 3 times, I have it written on a separate journal that lives in my cupboard, in my kitchen. Period. That's where I cook. If I need to share it, I snap a photo and email it.  

Meal Planning Workspace

Create a 2-page spread that you reuse every week. On the left side, create a space for each of the 7 days of the week. You can use Post-It notes in each to call out what the meals are for each one that you are preparing (don't forget to include snacks if you are being strict!). Not only will this page change each week, but you may decide to move things around during the week, and the Post-It notes make it easy to swap.

On the right side create a space for a bigger lined Post-It note for your removable grocery list. Take your entire Journal with you, or simply grab the Post-It when you go. 

Weekly Meals

Another option (over the dedicated 2-page layout, you can incorporate a space in your Weekly View to reflect what you will be eating for each day. I would still encourage using Post-It’s for the meals, or erasable something. You never know when you want to swap.

Depending on your layout you may also be able to include a space for a grocery list... Or you could just slap a post it anywhere on the week and start filling it up like I do.


Leslie Grossman is the founder of Stitches By Leslie, Inc. and the creator of the patent pending Journal Mate. For more information, reach out