The Free App That Helps Me Meal Plan

updated Mar 26, 2020
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Credit: Dan de Jesus

I’m a planner. My family and friends would definitely put me in the “Type A+” (and I am not sure they mean that as a compliment). That means some semblance of a meal plan in my life is crucial in order for me to stay sane — and avoid takeout. I’ve discovered a simple tool that makes me feel organized and prepared for the week, without making me feel like I’ve actually done a lot of work to be organized and prepared. It’s free and it’s something so many of us already use in our day-to-day lives.

How a Shared Google Calendar Helps Me Meal Plan

My meal planning strategy is hardly ingenious but it’s worked well for me and my husband: We use a shared Google calendar. On Saturday morning, after breakfast, we sit down and chart out our dinners for the coming week. We create events in our shared “S&J’s Meal Plan” calendar and, if there’s a specific recipe we’re using for dinner, we’ll add the link to the recipe in the description of the event, too, so it’s easily accessible. Then we jot down our grocery list and head to the store.

What’s great about this approach is that it’s flexible. We can drag and drop dinners on the calendar if plans change, while keeping a recurring “Pizza Night” going every Friday. We’re still cooking most nights and not really prepping much ahead of time on the weekends but we know what groceries we need for the week, what we’ll be eating, and even what leftovers we might have. Plus, we can each access the calendar from our own computers and phones, which is a personal perk because that means when my husband forgets what’s for dinner on any said night, he doesn’t ask me a few too many times.

Do you have a favorite lazy way to meal plan?

My Favorite Meal-Plan Recipes