Three of my favorite things about having a meal plan are:
- I always have an answer when someone asks “what’s for dinner”
- I find I spend less time in the meal making process, which means I have more time to spend on other things.
- Because I only use my brain once a week creating a meal plan, my brain is freed up daily to build my small business.
When you want to build your small business, time is of the essence, as is brainpower, as is nutrition, as is good self-care. With a meal plan in place, you take care of all four of these things.
How can a meal plan help you build your small business?
This is how...
By setting aside as little as 30 minutes to create a meal plan and make a grocery list, we do two things.
- We are batching a week’s worth of decisions into one session. Our brains like that. You know what’s for dinner, so, every day you free up your brain to think about things that will help you build your small business.
- A shopping list for the week is created and shopping can be one and done. Either you can do it, a family member can do it, or these days, you can have the store do it for you. If you use meal planning software, they break the items up into categories for you as well, so shopping is a breeze!
Meal planning is a pretty simple process. How you go about it is up to you.
I like to shop the internet for recipes, so meal planning can take me longer than 30 minutes. I don’t mind though as I enjoy the process and the variety in our meals.
I do use a menu planning app, which I will talk about a little later. If they had apps when my kids were small, I would have been in heaven.
Back then I basically did the same things with a cookbook and with pencil, paper, and the grocery ads.
Sure wish I had created an app!.
Here is how I go about my meal planning.
Every Thursday evening, I take a look at what is in the fridge and freezer.
- I pretty much empty the fridge.
- I make a list of the things in the fridge that are still edible.
- I put a star next to the things that need to be used immediately, and, because garbage day is the next day, I throw out anything that “expired” while living in the fridge.
- Since I am already in the fridge, I take the opportunity to wipe down the shelves and the bins.
- Then, I take my computer, my list of food, take a seat on the couch and proceed to break one of the main rules I live by. That would be my “no multi-tasking” rule.
Since I have done meal planning for years, I am pretty well versed at it so I can “watch” my soap opera and plan our meals for the week. Soap operas don’t take much brainpower to keep track of as I know if I miss it today, they will talk about it tomorrow.
- While meal planning, I make sure to consult my Google calendar, which is open on a tab right next to my meal planning app, to make sure to plan easy meals and crockpot meals around busy days.
If you haven’t ever ventured into the meal planning app scene, you will find there are many, many, many of them to choose from.
Here are the criteria I use for choosing an app.
- I want to be able to choose my own recipes.
- I need to be able to import my recipes
- I need to be able to move the meals around on the calendar to the day I want to use, and, it creates its own shopping list.
For those of you that just want a menu planned for you, I will share a couple of plans that do exactly that in another blog post down the road.
Today I am going to share with you two that I absolutely love. They meet all of my criteria as well, so that’s a plus. Are they perfect? No. But as with anything, we adapt. My two favorites are Copy Me That and Real Plans.
- It has a free version, which works just great. And it has a paid version that is like $20.00 forever.
- I can import recipes into the program and keep them private or share them with the community
- I can share with others that use the app
- It is both desktop and phone compatible
- The recipes you have imported are always there. No 404 message when a recipe has moved or been deleted.
- The calendar is editable, just in case you decide to have flank steak on Friday instead of chicken.
- Customer service is great.
- This one is at a higher price point, but well worth the cost.
- I can import recipes into my plan
- You can choose from many types of meal plans. I loved it because I was able to do Whole 30, and only Whole 30 recipes would come up.
- You are able to exclude foods, which means recipes containing those foods will not appear when you do a search.
- There is an option for add ons from specialty websites.
- It is both desktop and phone compatible
- The calendar is editable, just in case you decide to have taco’s on Friday instead of Tuesday.
- Customer service is awesome. They have a help box right open whenever you are in the program.
If you are new to meal planning, find a quiet place to create your plan until you have done it several times. As with anything that is worthwhile, it is probably not going to be easy the first time around.
Who would have thunk that meal planning could help you build your small business?
Let me know how your meal planning goes. And if you have a great meal planning program or app you use and love, let me know the name and why you love it.
this blog post may contain affiliate links, which creates no additional cost to you but may help fill my piggy bank.