• CNC Weekly Meal Plans

    March 11, 2012

    Introducing the newest feature on CNC: Weekly Meal Plans!

    I’m weird. I hate grocery shopping, but I love meal planning, and I look forward to doing it every week. I get quite a few questions from readers about how I plan healthy meals and save money at the grocery store, so I figured since I’m already organizing a weekly dinner menu for Mal and me, I might as well share it on CNC. (FYI: I only plan dinners for the week. Mal and I eat leftovers for lunch most days, and breakfast is usually some variation of oatmeal, eggs, protein pancakes, or frozen waffles.)

    2012-03-11_0815

    Without further ado, here is this week’s meal plan and shopping list!

    Shopping list*:

    • Broccoli
    • Soy milk
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Eggs
    • Deli ham
    • Yogurt
    • Bananas
    • Waffles
    • Bread
    • Bagels
    • Asparagus
    • Chicken breast (2)
    • Boston lettuce
    • White rice
    • Scallions
    • Cheese
    • Yogurt
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Chickpeas
    • Onion

    If you have any questions, please let me know. I really love meal planning, so I’m more than happy to help! Hope you guys like this new blog feature!

    *My shopping list doesn’t include all of the ingredients necessary to make the above meals. It’s just what we needed and includes items for other meals and snacks (not just dinners).

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    { 53 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sarah March 11, 2012 at 8:40 am

    So excited about this! I love meal planning and frequent your blog quite often when I’m doing it every week :) This will make it super easy!

    Reply

    Stacy @ Every Little Thing March 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Meal planning is my favorite! I tracked all my grocery purchases on my blog for a month last year. Maybe I’ll start doing it again!

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    Faith March 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I get scary excited about meal planning, and I actually do it a lot when I get bored at work (shh!)

    The only downside is never knowing what I’ll be in the mood for, so I try to just plan 7 day’s worth of meals without assigning a day to it and roll with what I feel like that particular day. How do you deal with the “eh, I’m really not in the mood for XYZ today” part that comes with planning ahead?

    Reply

    Tina March 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    @Faith: We switch around the meals if we’re not in the mood for something (or just eat what we planned)! :)

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    Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa March 11, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I love the idea of meal planning, but find whenever I do it, I am never in the mood for whatever meal I planned – thus throwing the entire system off.

    I really should do it more often so I can actually make some of the recipes in my cookbooks…you know, branch out from the typical meal a bit.

    Reply

    Joss March 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I like meal planning too but sometimes it just works out that I’m not feeling whatever i had planned for a certain day and end up making something totally different :P

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    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 11, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I love meal planning but since it’s only me, I sometimes find it hard because left-overs become dinner (which I’m okay with) but I never know if they’re going to last 2, 3 or even 4 days…I’m getting better at that though. :)

    Reply

    Sarah March 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Love this! Thanks for sharing.

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    Amy March 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I get so excited for Thursday nights because that’s my meal planning/grocery list night! Meal planning with kids is crucial and it makes it easier to stick to the plan when the option is dragging all 3 kids to the store to get something else. I only plan 4 meals a week to give myself one night to do whatever I want or eat leftovers…. Makes it feel less restrictive.

    Reply

    Dandi March 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Absolutely LOVE this new feature of CNC! Thanks so much and glad to see that you are finally feeling better! :)

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    meghan March 11, 2012 at 10:02 am

    This is awesome! I’m so excited that you’re sharing this. I always see you and a few other HLBs with super healthy foods and I wonder how you do it. I can’t wait to refer to this weekly when heading out to the store!! Thanks Tina!

    Reply

    Heather March 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I do the exact same thing – including using the same grocery list!

    So helpful and I save so much money.

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    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    i love meal planning too! it’s one less thing to stress about during the week, and who doesn’t love thinking about what they’re going to eat?! :) love this new feature!

    Reply

    katie @ KatieDid March 11, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Meal planning for some reason is so difficult for me. Since I’m buying and cooking for one, it’s hard to stick to a budget for that week if I’m trying to eat a different meal everynight. For some reason just eating similar meals all the time works for me and helps me save money and not waste food. If you have any tips about not over spending when trying to eat such a variety, I’d love to know!

    Reply

    Kelly M March 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    @katie @ KatieDid: I feel the same way buying and cooking for one is a different mindset. I have tried meal planning twice and while it was nice not to think about what I was going to make that day, it is expensive to have a meal five times a week. Most of the time, I’ll make two meals a week and have enough leftovers for the rest.

    Reply

    Kelly @ Vegolosophy March 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I love meal planning! Sometimes I wish I had a personal chef that could just cook everything for me on busy weeks lol :)

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    Emily March 11, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I love to see your meal plans, Tina! It’s such a great idea that I try to incorporate into my own weekly routine. I am just wondering whether you and Mal are still eating Paleo? I am trying out a mostly-Paleo diet and wondering what your thoughts on the plan are? I know you can’t give up your oats (neither can I) but I saw a lot of pasta/carbs in your meal plan.

    Reply

    Tina March 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @Emily: We were actually never eating Paleo. Neither of us ever want to give up oatmeal, cheese, or beer! :)

    Reply

    Lenna@lennalivinglight.blogspot.com March 11, 2012 at 10:40 am

    You make it look so easy! Do you just thumb through recipes in deciding or do you just think of something you’ve been wanting to eat and jot it down? I’m not so creative when it comes to cooking weeknight meals.I like to cook for 2 nights each time to save me from cooking after work every day.

    Reply

    Tina March 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    @Lenna@lennalivinglight.blogspot.com: Yep, I just flip through cookbooks or magazines to find ideas. I also save recipe links from blogs and other websites to make in the future.

    Reply

    Kate @ get up and flow March 11, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I used to think I enjoyed grocery shopping until I realized how much time and money it requires! Meal planning is definitely the way to go. I use Google documents to keep my plan and lists in order — super-simple!

    Reply

    Shelley March 11, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Great idea. I love seeing what others plan for meals! I have a very picky hubby so menu planning is more difficult for me but I still enjoy it.

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    Alex @ Raw Recovery March 11, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for posting this and links to your other similar posts. My goal this week is to budget my money for groceries and meal plan. Thank you!

    Reply

    Bjorg March 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I like this, might inspire me to plan ahead sometimes ;)

    Reply

    Olivia March 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I hate meal planning. I prefer to just choose one or two recipes I want to make, for the week, buy the ingredients, and anything else that’s on sale that I’d like that week, or any staples that I’m out of, and come up with something healthy to eat each day!

    Reply

    Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I am not good at the meal planning, but I love grocery shopping. We could totally be a team…you plan and I shop! Lol! Have a great Sunday!

    Reply

    Jenae @YogaEatRun March 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Very cool that you’re sharing your meal plans with us!! Can you link to the recipes? Thanks!

    Reply

    Tina March 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    @Jenae @YogaEatRun: Yep, just click on the links in this post! :)

    Reply

    Katie @ Life... Discombobulated March 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

    This is great! Thank you so much for sharing! I’m always looking for healthy dinner ideas – especially ones that will make enough food for leftovers. It’s so nice to see all of your dinner ideas for the week in one place. Thanks, Tina!

    Reply

    Lee March 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I’m the opposite – love grocery shopping, hate meal planning. Unfortunately, this always results in spending a bunch of money at the store and then complaining that there’s nothing to eat.

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    Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Love this new series!! All those dinners sound delicious!

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    Khushboo March 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I never make a rigid meal plan but I jot down meal ideas at the start of the week which works for me!

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    Whitney @ whit likes fit March 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Love the new addition to the blog. Can’t wait to read about all your meals. I love meal planning and grocery shopping. In fact I’d rather shop for groceries than for clothes haha.

    Reply

    Julie Ryan March 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Really awesome addition – I’m getting a little burned out by coming up with new dinners for me and the husband. Definitely looking forward to all the new meal plans!

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    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I’m a meal planner, too. We usually stick to the plan but there are some days when XX just doesn’t sound good or we are short on time. If we didn’t plan ahead I think we would end up eating sandwiches for every dinner!

    Reply

    Leigh R March 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Tina – this is so great! I just got back from the grocery store and used this blog post as my guide/shopping list. Luckily I also had a lot of the ingredients for some of the meals already in my fridge, so it was a pretty quick and inexpensive trip. Now I am all set for the week and VERY excited to try these recipes!

    GREAT idea! Please keep these posts coming :)

    Reply

    Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie March 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Love soba noodles! Can’t wait to hear how those go over :)

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    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    My problem with meal planning is that I live alone, and I usually don’t like eating the same thing over and over, so it’s hard to plan meals with just one serving! Definitely something I need to work on.

    Reply

    Allison March 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Love this! Off to plan some meals.

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    Claire March 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Psyched for this new addition! Keep up the great work! Glad that you are feeling better! :)

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    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake March 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Love this new feature! I have to meal plan every week, or else I know that I’d waaay over-spend at the grocery store!

    Reply

    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I love that you’re doing this now because I’m most definitely going to start stealing ideas from you! :D That couscous dish sounds wonderful and so perfect for the spring weather we’re getting here!

    Reply

    Brandi @ Faith Fitness and Laughter March 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    This is something that I am starting Monday, so this came at the best time! I have my entire week planned! This is HUGE for me too! I really hope that I stick with it. I went shopping after church this morning to get my food and felt so accomplished….I’m weird.
    Great meals!

    Reply

    Shannon @ Her Dog Blog March 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Love this feature! I recently started putting my weekly menu into a spreadsheet and printing it before I go to the grocery store. It’s a lot of work but well worth it, since I’m way less distracted and don’t forget anything!

    Reply

    Maureen March 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I LOVE meal planning! I have always done mine one week at a time, but started 2 weeks at a time today. During the school year {both hubby & I work at high schools} we rotate throughout a certain set of meals per season. Once we have a break we tend to try fancier, new meals. Some of those even end up in our regular rotation! :)

    Reply

    Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet March 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    This is an awesome new feature!!! I can’t wait. I could use a few new meal ideas and I probably should do this organization myself! *Excited* :)

    Reply

    Amanda March 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I’m excited for the new feature! Thanks for posting, it’s always cool to hear how other people grocery shop especially someone who only spends $300/mo =D.

    Reply

    Tina March 12, 2012 at 7:24 am

    @Amanda: Truth be told, since we started eating more (organic) meat, our budget is closer to $400/month, but we’re finding ways to get it back down!

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    Elisabeth March 12, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I LOVE meal planning – glad you’re sharing yours with us :)

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    Katy March 12, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I love this feature! I love hearing what other people are eating! And I am stealing the soba noodle recipe

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    jodi March 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

    hi Tina – On your saturday post with the yummy ham sandwhich, is that homemade bread or store bought? It looks really good!

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    Tina March 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    @jodi: Store-bought from Whole Foods!

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    Amelia March 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    We’re opposites! I hate meal planning. I hate making decisions when there are too many too good options. I hate having to plan. It’s so boring. On the other hand, I love, LOVE grocery shopping – when I have time, when I have money. Although when I don’t have either it sucks. Maybe I need to cut the drama and just write my meals out. When I do, I usually follow it and I end up happier than when I try to wing it.

    Reply

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