It takes serious time management and organization skills to maintain healthy eating these days. The more we know about what which foods are healthy for which people, the more information we have to keep track of when planning meals, buying ingredients, and preparing the final product. It is also a great way to curb your food budget by being more aware of what you need for the meals you set out. Take a breath, and relax. This article is here to help! You are going to learn how to take one convenient Bullet Journal and use it to combine your meal planning, recipes, grocery lists, and food budget.
What is a Bullet Journal, and How Do I Use it for Meal Planning?
Bullet Journals have become all the rage for those of us who still enjoy keeping our lives organized via the old school pen and paper method. It is a journal in which you use a series of distinct bullets to organize and connect multiple lists. You use short phrases to keep it more manageable, and you can do all of this in any journal. What you end up with is a visible and permanent reference for your thoughts and actions.
If you think about it, meal planning consists of a list full of lists: a list of meals to prepare for this week, recipes for those meals that are composed of a list of ingredients and a list of steps, a separate list of the ingredients you need as opposed to those you already have, and a list of where to get certain ingredients that you can’t find in your usual supermarket, and, finally, a list of how much it all costs. Wow. Keep reading to find out how a Bullet Journal will turn these lists into one easy system.
Think of a typical week’s worth of meals you would like to make. Choose meals you have been craving, meals you already have a bunch of ingredients for, or whatever else works for you. Start with your first meal and list all the ingredients. Use a distinct bullet symbol for those you need to purchase more of. Repeat for all other meals, but only use the distinct “buy more” bullet point once per ingredient. When all your meals and corresponding ingredients have been listed, make a note of quantity needed for each ingredient you need to buy next to the distinctly bullet pointed items. That way, you can quickly see which items, and how much of them, you need to purchase. Here is an example:
- *Chicken Breasts (4)
- *Chicken Broth (4 cans)
- *Olive Oil
- -Frozen Bell Peppers
Broccoli Chicken Bowls:
- -Chicken Breasts
- *Frozen Broccoli
- -Olive Oil
- *Soy Sauce
- -Chicken Broth
- *Carrots (Big Bundle)
- -Carrot Sticks
- *Celery Sticks
- -Ranch Dressing
Recipes and Preparation
Use your Bullet Journal to note advance preparations that you need to make, such as “thaw meat,” “marinate,” and “chop veggies.” Writing the day of the week you plan to make each meal serves as a quick reminder for what to do each morning before work. We often make substitutions for allergies and preferences. Write the recipe steps with your changes under the ingredients list, and then it is easily accessible next time you make it. Use a distinct bullet symbol for the steps you need to do in advance.
Budgeting Money and Time
If you are like me, you chronically cut coupons but forget to bring them. Use the Bullet Journal system to note ingredients you have coupons for and ingredients. Keep your coupons inside your journal, and keep your journal where you keep your keys. Reserve a separate page at the back of your journal for listing brands you come to prefer, stores that do not carry frequently used ingredients, stores where pricey ingredients tend to be most affordable, and other tips you gather along the way that will prevent you from making too many trips or overspending.
The two advantages of using a Bullet Journey for meal planning are: you get to tailor it to your own organizational style, and you have everything you need in one place. No more wondering what you did last time to make the sauce thicker or standing in the middle of the aisle, searching through multiple recipes on your phone to figure out how much butter to get. The more you use this system, the more uses you will find for it!