What Would Be Your Perfect Meal Plan?

Thursday January 12, 2017

One of the questions I get asked about most, and that seems to get the most response from you all, is TEACH ME ABOUT MEAL PLANNING.

(And, haha, yes! I did just write about caretaking one day, White House political appointments the next, and now meal planning. Welcome to third wave feminism! We can talk about EVERYTHING!)

My sister and I have actually been emailing about this all morning. A friend and I were talking about it earlier this week. These are both career women who spend their days working in executive offices and saving the planet. But, yeah, even they have to put food on a table. This seems to be a morass that all of us have to deal with, but none of us particularly want to.

So, my question to all of you, and this is an honest to God question and you better honest to God answer it, is: in your head, what does your ideal meal plan look like? How does it function?

(Because I think that all of us have this idea of what a meal plan SHOULD look like, but not many of us can actually stick to it. Let’s figure out together how to build something that we can stick to.)

Option 1: Every Sunday, you’ve put together a week of recipes assigned to each day, and the ingredients for it are in your refrigerator/pantry ready to go.

Option 2: Every week, you have a list of dinners that you already know how to make assigned to each day, no recipes needed, and the ingredients ready to go in your refrigerator/pantry. (See what I did there? Are the recipes tripping you up? It can be time-consuming/energy-taxing to work on a new recipe, especially after a long day and when any dependents are staring at you open-mouthed to Put Food Here Please Now.)

Option 3: Every week, you write down a list of dinners for the week and the ingredients you’ll need for them, and march off to the supermarket to purchase everything. (Is the weekly supermarket trip a pipe dream?)

Option 4: Option 3 but instead of going to the supermarket, you get it all delivered via Safeway Delivery or other services.

Option 5: Option 3 but let’s not kid ourselves, I’m buying the pre-chopped onions because WHO SERIOUSLY HAS THE TIME FOR THIS.

Option 6: You silly peon, I just use Blue Apron.

Option 7: Those all seem great, but let’s be honest, it’s me and the freezer aisle most weeks.

Option 8: That all seems lovely, really, but I’d prefer just to eat take-out or the already prepared food at the supermarket. Who has time for all that?

Option 9: My goal is to have a personal chef who can prepare healthy, organic, locally sourced, hypoallergenic dinners for my family. I just show up. Bliss.


So, when you talk about “meal planning” what are you referring to? Given your lifestyle, which of those options is the most accessible/likely to happen? Is your reality different from your vision? Is your vision out of reach?

Let me know by email or in the comments. Help me help you, people.

2 Responses to “What Would Be Your Perfect Meal Plan?”

  1. I absolutely LOVE the Real Simple weekly meal plans. The subscription is very cheap ($1/month) and the recipes are fantastic and varied. It includes a shopping list of ingredients for the week. Most have less than 10 ingredients but they use all fresh ingredients.


    1/13/2017 at 9:56 am

  2. Thanks for the tip! That seems to be exactly what people want (someone else to do all the thinking for them!)


    1/13/2017 at 2:37 pm