Whole Parenting Family

Meal Planning is My DOWNFALL {i suck at it} {{help me}}

meal plans

You’d think I’ve got it down. Meal planning. Simple enough, right? You write down what you’re going to eat. Then you write down your shopping list. Then you buy the ingredients and make the dammm food.

Simple but oh-so-elusive. I’ve tried for years to be consistent about it. Often in a frantic panic Sunday nights (that, and staring down a huge pile of white dress shirts that firmly require ironing out their set wrinkles for AA’s work). I’ll scream to my husband I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE GOING TO EAT THIS WEEK??!!!

Of course, I could pay for a meal plan to have all this sent to me.

I tried that.

Of course, I could just defrost some meat every night so there was something to eat the next day.

I tried that.

Of course, I could order a lot of takeout + organic frozen pizza.

Yup. Guess who’s done that.

But what I’d like to do is a meal planning link up. Saturdays. If you don’t have a blog, no problem. Just comment with your meal plan for the week with either the link to the recipe, or if you are a chef (Mary, Cynthia, Laura, I’m looking at you girls) maybe share your secret recipe with us. If you have a blog, link your post up. It will be open the whole week long.

Saturday is a family day, and some people don’t waste time on the internet that day {ahem can’t pretend I don’t}. So anytime during the week pop over and add your stuff.

I’m really excited to see your recipes!!! Help me and my poor quinoa stuffed, breakfast for dinner, same six recipes family!!!



  1. Mandi Richards on October 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I find we waste a lot of food if I meal plan and buy groceries for several days. We do much better buying for only a few days at a time and deciding what we are going to eat based on what fresh items we have so everything gets used up. I don’t know what we would do if we weren’t able to go to the store easily whenever, but for now, it’s pretty easier for one of use to pop in the car whenever to get what we need for dinner.

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 22, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      That’s so interesting! I love fresh greens and going up to our natural foods coop (four minutes away, literally) but for me I still have to plan ahead a little further just so that I can be sure I can slip away and shop. Shopping is a little tricky during the day. But if you have a good sense of what you like to eat and what you like to buy fresh, I’m gonna need your help with ideas!!

  2. Emily on October 22, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Hi Nell,
    I tend to do “theme” days, (you know, like the song: “Today is Monday”). 🙂 Sunday = fish, Monday = something made in the oven, Tuesday = Stir Fry, Wednesday = crock pot, Thursday = ethnic, Friday = pasta. That’s enough variety, but gives somewhat a structure when feeling in survival mode. Check this out: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2013/09/the-meal-planning-system-that-saved-my-sanity.html

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 22, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Oh I LOVE Jen and her writing! She is the best! I love it–you’d better comment and help the rest of us out with your fav of all these themes 🙂

  3. Laura @ Mothering Spirit on October 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Completely contrary to the rest of my plan-B personality, I have become a BOSS at meal planning. I dragged myself in kicking and screaming a few years ago, and it has honestly revolutionized the household. I now have kicked it up to the level of keeping a running list of meals we eat (for ideas when seasonal eating/weekly inspiration runs short). And I recently perfected my weekly meal plan for the weeks I solo parent, so it’s super easy dinners and I don’t have to go to the grocery at all while hubs is gone. These days I’m working on maximizing Sunday cooking so that we have more strategic leftovers for weeknights…So I am all about this series!

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 22, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Did you just say plan-B personality? bahahahah! I love it!! You have to link up and HELP ME!!!

  4. Lauren on October 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    This is such a good idea. I got a meal planning groupon, but since my husband is now deployed, it would be nothing more than a giant waste of food to make it for just me and a 14 month old. I can’t wait to see if there are some recipes that are more adaptable for small groups of people (ie, one and a half).

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 22, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      So rough that you’re alone with your toddler! I hope it’s a 9 month and not 12! My brother was deployed when his firstborn was born–rough stuff.

  5. Erin on October 23, 2014 at 7:35 am

    YES! I am totally on board with this! Maybe I will actually make a meal plan if I have to post it online. 😉 This is my downfall, too, so I’m excited to share recipes with ya’ll!

  6. Elise on October 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Love this idea, Nell! Looking forward!

  7. Jessica on October 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Oh I feel you girl! I go through times when I rock the meal planning, and times when I give up. Ahem….1st trimester. Always.
    But what’s working now for us, with two toddlers, preggo mama and dad who travels a lot is:
    Over the weekend, I make 2 big meals- usually a hearty soup or chili, and a casserole like shepherd’s pie or enchiladas. We alternate those till Wednesday. I add in whatever veggies we have on hand for sides. Not the most exciting, but it saves me from tons of dishes and lets me stay out later with the kids and avoid the 5 pm scramble.
    Thursday I always make “brinner”-usually scrambled eggs and smoothies, frittata, etc. Friday is homemade pizza and Saturday we eat with family or order in.
    I love to see what works for others, so I hope this gives you some inspiration. Love your blog!

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      First tri–it’s all all all takeout! This is so wise and so helpful. THANK YOU!!!! 🙂 and thanks for your love 🙂

  8. […] Nell, of  the Whole Parenting Family blog (and Etsy shop). Apparently meal planning was not Nell’s strong suit either, so she decided to start a weekly link up of meal plans. She posts hers. We post ours. It forces […]