Friday, December 21, 2012

A Little Meal Planning Help (& a Free Meal Calendar For You!)

Ah! One more week of meal planning done! 
I had a system in place, where we had a meal/dish every 4 weeks, all set up in Google calendar. It served me well for a couple of years.
Now, for several reasons, it's time for a revamp. 
#1 We've gotten tired of having the same things over and over, even though I did shake it up once in a while(see reason #2). Everyone else is more tired of the repetition than me (apparently Aspies love repetition/predictability- I thought it was just me!), but at this point even I am ready to change it all up! Wow.
#2 Because I did "shake it up" every so often, the original calendar with its repeats and add-ins is such a mess even I have a hard time navigating it. The original plan (which worked great) was to set meals to repeat every 4 weeks, fill it in so that all days have a meal, include all ingredients needed in the "notes" section of each entry, and make my grocery list for the week according to that. Now it's a headache figuring out which meal listed on each day to have, and to sort out what to buy, since I didn't always add the ingredients when I "shook things up" on the fly.
#3 We are adjusting our diet again, preparing for what I think will be a HUGE shift when we go full-on the GAPS diet in a few months. Right now, I'm working on familiarizing myself with removing grains entirely, then I'll build on that. 
All that to say, I am sharing my new meal plan calendar with you! I repeat breakfasts and lunches weekly, which means we always have the same thing for breakfast and lunch each Monday etc.. Suppers are planned according to main dish/meat; beef on mondays, fish on thursdays, etc..Each Supper includes a recipe for the main dish, with the ingredients listed at the top for shopping lists. I don't always list things I consider as staples, such as flour, salt, EVOO, so if you want to use my calendar, do read thru the recipe before you get started! 
Right now, I only have the next week of meals planned, set to repeat in 6 weeks. Each week I will add another week of suppers until it's all filled in all the way to the first repeat. Then it should be set! 
Feel free to use the calendar all you want- I will try to remember to link to each recipe source in the notes section so that you can springboard from there and find more things to suit your family. 
If you have any questions, requests, or suggestion, leave them here in the comments and I'll do my best! 

**Note: almost all the recipes you will find in this calendar are from The Stone Soup. Some are cited, some I forgot. There are a few of my own, friends' or family's recipes in there too. So if there's one you like and it's not cited, check over at The Stone Soup first- it's likely from there! 


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