I want to share with you guys how I do my meal planning.  Now, this is what works for ME.  What works for you may look a little different!  There are a lot of options when it comes to meal planning and I recommend you experiment to see what works best for you!  I also change it up after a while because what works now won’t necessarily work for me later on.
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This is LITERALLY what I do, guys.   The first part is what I planned and bought two weeks ago.  Further down, you’ll see what I have for this week!  The week in-between all I had to buy was another container of milk and some bananas.
Step 1. I take stock of what I already have in my kitchen (pantry, fridge, freezer).  Obviously I have more than this but these are things I know I need or want to use.  Shopping your kitchen first will help keep you on budget and prevent you from having to throw things out!
I have:
eggplant, quick oats, whole wheat flour, chickpea flour, quinoa, chickpeas, brown rice, cabbage, pineapple, cashews, almonds, chia seeds, apples
Step 2. I write down what I need to buy aka my shopping list!  This is based on what I already have on hand, what is on sale wherever I’ll be shopping, what I’m doing that week etc  The need list is the stuff for the recipes I’ll be using where as the “want” list is extra stuff… usually including some “treats” hehe but also things that are on sale.
I need: spaghetti noodles, marinara sauce, bread (Dave’s Killer bread on sale), green peas, bell pepper, carrots, non dairy milk, bananas, almond butter (Wild Friends on sale), apples (on sale), pita crisps (on sale), salad mix (Organic Girl on sale), potatoes (sunrise bag on sale), sweet potatoes, wild rice, canned green chilis, sugar, lemon, extra firm tofu, avocados, frozen fruit, tortillas, old fashioned oats, celery, black beans
I want: chocolate!! cereal (Mom’s Best on sale), La Croix, Suja juice (on sale), salad dressing, molasses
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Step 3.  I gather up recipes (mostly from Pinterest and cookbooks) and decide what I want to make for the next two weeks (Yes, I like doing 2 weeks at a time right now. Sometimes I do 1 week.)  I focus mainly on dinner and lunch but always include some snacks and breakfast options as well.
I have a “menu plan” board on Pinterest that I keep private.  I add recipes to it that I want to make next time I meal plan.  It works pretty well although sometimes I end up with too many recipes in there and it can take a while to “clean it up” (Pinterest needs a better system for this!).  I’m very visual so it help see to SEE what the food looks like and have the recipes easy to access.
I will make:
lunch/dinner Eggplant parm, Pineapple cashew fried rice w/ cabbage, green peas, bell pepper, carrots, Quinoa avocado apple salad, Salad with sweet potato, avocado, chickpeas, Potatoes + coconut crusted tofu + veggies, Chickpea patty sandwiches, Veggie pot pie, Crockpot chili slow cooker, Sweet potato wild rice soup slow cooker
other:
Carrot smoothies, Green banana smoothie, Oatmeal with apples, molasses, Hummus + pita crisps, Cashew probiotic yogurt, Oat pancakes, Golden milk frappucino, Chia pudding, Sweet potato granola
Step 4. I shop! I use the app AnyList for my grocery list and LOVE it. I love how it organizes everything- I can add notes (like if something is on sale or I need a certain amount) and simply tap on it to check it off the list.
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Here’s another look at a similar set up but this time I included WHERE the recipes were since I used a few different cookbooks and only a few websites, not Pinterest.  If you don’t really like using Pinterest, this is probably a better option for you!  Including the links makes it easy to find them later.
I have: quinoa, black beans, chickpeas, bell pepper, chia seeds, tempeh, carrots
I will make:
Savory tempeh and carrot sandwiches, Smoky maple tofu marinade, Pumpkin chili, Roasted chickpea and broccoli burritos (Thug Kitchen: Eat like You Give a F*ck cookbook)
Waffle tortillas, Coconut-roasted acorn squash, Nacho cheese (The Taco Cleanse cookbook)
Small batch dry beans, Chocolate pumpkin brownie breakfast quinoa (Vegan Slow Cooking cookbook)
Vegetable curry (with rice), Quinoa stuffed bell peppers, French toast bread pudding (Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook)
Pumpkin scones http://www.hotforfoodblog.com/…/vegan-pumpkin-scones…
Black bean brownies http://veganheaven.org/recipe/vegan-black-bean-brownies/
Banana oat pancakes http://theconscientiouseater.com/2-ingredient-oatmeal-banana-blender-pancakes/
Other:
Oatmeal, Smoothies (blueberry, protein), homemade LaraBars, chickpea scramble, pizza with white sauce…
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