Many successful meal planners fall into a weekly schedule. Seven seems to be the magic number yet again. So, if you are just getting started, a weekly system seems like a smart place to begin.
A weekly plan is successful in part because most of us have a slot of time each week that we can devote to meal planning. Maybe it’s Saturday morning, before the kids get up. Maybe it’s Sunday afternoon, after church. It doesn’t even have to be on the weekend. Maybe for you, it’s Wednesdays during Leno. The point is, try to pick the same time every week to devote to planning. Then sit down with a cup of coffee, your cookbook or recipe box, your stack of coupons, your family calendar, and your Say Mmm page, and get to planning.
Weekly meal planning also facilitates a weekly grocery store trip. Sure, you might need two carts, but at least you’ll only be going to the store once, only be getting stuck in traffic once, only be fighting for a parking spot once, and only standing in the checkout line once per week. The weekly shopping trip prevents those panic trips to the grocery store when you are already starving. (And for many of us, hunger does not help us make smart shopping choices.) And the weekly shopping trip will save you travel money. Unless you go by foot, it costs money to go to the supermarket. So, you automatically save money when you only go once a week.
A weekly meal plan is also helpful because we usually (hopefully) know what our lives will look like a week in advance. When you sit down to meal plan, be sure to have your day planner with you. Dance class on Monday, baseball game on Tuesday, choir practice on Wednesday, book club on Thursday, and Friday night you’ve invited the in-laws over. You know that all of that is going to happen, so you can plan for it all while you are planning your meals.
Weekly shopping will also help you monitor your grocery store’s sales cycle. Every store is different, but most stores do have a sales cycle. A regular routine will help you become familiar with prices, so that when prices are lower, you can be ready to pounce!
So, a weekly meal plan is better than a daily meal plan for sure, and many times is better than a longer plan, say a monthly plan, because you can buy fresh produce that will last the week. So you really can buy tomatoes and bananas on Sunday and have them survive until the following Saturday.