What's your Meal Plan?

Hey everyone!

I was wondering what your meal planning system is (if you have one) and what’s on your menu this week.

My system is to cook parts of meals twice a week and combine

This week my plan is
breakfasts: cereal/smoothies/oatmeal
Monday lunch out
Monday dinner carrot soup
Tuesday lunch peanut-cucumber-rice noodle salad
Tuesday dinner - carrot soup
Wednesday - same
Thursday lunch out
Dinner spinach salad or stir-fry broccoli with smoked tofu
Friday lunch -???(I have therapy this morning and will leave several comfort food options open
Dinner - rice and smoked tofu or beans

So I’m making the soup and peanut sauce tonight, and then I will cook a little more later in the week.


I’ll play! I don’t have a conscious system, really, other than I sometimes batch cook. We have limited fridge and freezer space, which limits a few things, and it means I tend to think of the next few days ahead when I shop, not the next week.

I just shopped today, a pretty big one because we were running really low. We are currently equipped for:

  • Aloo mattar w some sauce from some great packets from a local Indian place (just spices n oil, and you mix in water or cream)
  • Salads! Lettuce with bell, carrot, avocado, corn, black beans, and either tofu or tempeh; may grab tomatoes tomorrow
  • A few TJs frozen things (like gyoza) for Boyfriend
  • Strawberry banana smoothie
  • Toast n egg
  • Blood oranges and cottage cheese for snax

We should get through until the weekend pretty well with this one :smile:


“Plan” does not convey quite how haphazardly things come together in my household.

Leftovers are a factor. My tomorrow and Tue lunches are sandwiches because I inherited some leftover cold cuts and cheese. Once we accumulate a few different odds and ends we have a “fridge clearout” meal where small portions of a bunch of stuff all get served to use them up.

At some point in the week DH is likely to make a slow cooker meal (chili, beef roast, curry, etc.) It will be dinner once or twice then lunches for him until it’s gone.

Many weekends DH will buy whatever meat is on sale. In a day or two I’ll ask him, “do you have a plan for those [cut of meat]” then end up making something with it. Internet recipes are such a help.

When desperate I buy a loaf of fancy bread, some cheeses, fruit, a protein, and maybe a frozen appetizer and that’s a lazy dinner.

Aiming for take out or delivery once a week for the convenience. Sometimes I buy healthy-ish frozen entrees and that’s an easy lunch at work.

Most breakfasts are eggs + fruit/vegetable/bagel.

Umm… Please tell me more about this peanut cucumber noodle salad? :chopsticks:


I misread “Boyfriend” as a separate bullet point on my phone. Seemed like a good plan!

@cereal …I either look up a recipe or vaguely recall a recipe for peanut sauce - peanut butter /sunflower seed butter… Lemon… Garlic… Ginger… Tamari… Hot peppers and whatever else. Then it gets dumped on noodles, cucumber, and whatever other veggies and protein I have around

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We meal plan each week and I grocery shop on Thursday or Friday. This week looks like this:

Breakfasts: frozen breakfast burritos we batch prepped, granola/fruit

Lunches: a portion of dinner the night before

Dinners: burritos, Joe’s special (I forget where this recipe came from but it’s a rice bowl with ground beef, spinach, feta cheese & other stuff), sushi bowls, pork & peanut dragon noodles


When I had routines and a home:


  • Peanut butter eaten out of a mug with a spoon
  • Granola bar
  • Nothing because I’m asleep or don’t want real food that early
  • Future: protein shake


  • Leftovers
  • Catered food scavenged from work
  • Chili (giant batch cook)
  • Salad or sandwich bought out in emergencies
  • Frozen TJ’s meals (gyoza/burritos/veggie burgers)
  • Lazy pasta
  • Future: roasted veggies
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Because of how my brain works, I need to actively work to keep spontenaity and freedom in my life, and avoid rigid planning. Which makes things like this fun. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Because yes! Meal planning is rocking!! And important to reduce food waste and save money. But I start to feel like a trapped squirrel after a few days, and bad decisions erupt.
So I try to plan 1-3 days out, not more than that. Sometimes less.
This means I end up going to the store a lot.

My next few days:
To do:

  • Hard boil eggs
  • Do a crock pot of lentils, zucchini, and tomatoes


  • Pre-made (store bought from Costco bc I’m weak and also curious) spinach patty things for breakfasts
  • Lentil “glorp” ™ for lunches and dinners for a few days
  • Hard boiled eggs + fruit + walnuts and dates for snacks

Next set of food is up in the air.
I have some spaghetti squash that needs to be cooked up, and pesto. I need to check in with Roommate to see how she’s feeling about meat as I have some in the freezer.


I love this topic!! It feels like so much of my energy goes into “what should i cook” and “when to get ingredients for upcoming meals” and “i don’t want to spend my entire god damn sunday meal prepping” so I’m always aiming to make it more effortless. I actually like cooking, it’s just the constant cycle of having to cook and deal with food procurement that annoys me.

For context, I eat the same breakfast every day for a year or longer at the time, then I choose another breakfast. At the moment, its 2 pieces of toast with jammy boiled egg and soy sauce. I take my lunch to work most days. AB doesn’t eat breakfast and eats lunch out.

I usually go shopping on Sundays and meal prep a bit for the week. I try to make one batch meal that will ensure I have something to take to work if all else fails. This is usually vegetarian e.g.

  • big pot of soup
  • vegetarian chili
  • roasted vegetable pasta salad

Vegetarian to save the environment and to save money.

Then I make a big meal on Sunday, that meal usually isn’t vegetarian. I make extra for leftovers for 1-2 days. Examples

  • Chicken Scarpariello (recently discovered this! soooo good!)
  • some sort of taco
  • some sort of meatballs, either American Italian with pasta, or Turkish with rice, etc.

We will eat this another evening and if there are more leftovers, I will take them to work.

THEN I will try to prep some of the ingredients of the meals for the upcoming week. For example:

  • this week I made cabbage pasta, so I roasted the cabbage over the weekend. I also had the bread crumb topping from when I made it a few weeks ago. So during the week, I just needed to cook the pasta and sort of throw it all together.
  • sometimes I pre-chop onions, stuff like that.

The goal of that last step is to make cooking on weeknights as quick and easy as possible.

That gets us through the week, and the weekend is sort of a free for all. We may go out to eat or grab some takeout. We eat a lot more takeout than I grew up with (we never ate takeout) and I sort of feel like a failure for not getting a home cooked dinner on the table every evening like my mom did, but I am getting better at being ok with it, considering my mom was staying at home and I am out of the house for at least 11 hours a day.


I went slightly off plan with some popcorn today. Nauseous regrets

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Cabbage pasta? Explain yourself.

hear me out! Brassicas have a bad reputation bc people boil them or something. They need high heat! Cabbage roasted under high heat or pan seared in a really hot, NOT non-stick pan is really good. I use this recipe as a guideline but make some variations e.g. sometimes I add caramelised onions, etc. ITS GOOD


Honestly, that sounds delicious. I love brassicas personally – my partner and I roast a lot of Brussels sprouts in the winter. :3

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I was actually interested! I like raw cabbage but haven’t found the idea of cooked appealing. Maybe roasted would prevent them from getting mushy and gross. I thought it was a spaghetti squash thing, where the cabbage replaced the pasta


I’ve recently tried reintroducing legumes into my diet and after six weeks still don’t seem to be handling them. So, pause on that for a while.

I also don’t tolerate many grains, but bought a loaf of sprouted wheat bread this week. Yeaaahhhhhhhh not good. My joints are so achey and stiff and I’ve had a headache for three days.

I’ve also been trying to eat less meat overall (hence trying to retry beans and grains) so my meal planning/eating in general has required a little more thought.

I generally eat the same breakfast, at least on work days. Batch cook lunches. Dinners lately have been kind of a miss since starting the gym; I get home too late to want to eat a full meal but don’t have decent snacks in my repertoire anymore.

The rough plan for this coming week:


  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Plain yogurt w/berries
  • Steel cut oats w/cinnamon, pumpkin puree, pepitas


  • Turkey meatballs w/Tzatziki sauce
  • Salads (usually greens/lettuce, cherry tomatoes, feta, olives, pickled onions, a bit of olive oil

4pm Dinner before leaving work

  • Roasted potatoes/carrots w/spices/garlic/something
  • Protein smoothie? Will have to see how this lasts through the day

Post gym snack before biking/busing home

  • Rhubarb bars (have about 12 cups of frozen rhubarb to start using up)

Late snack if still hungry

  • Teff sandwich bread w/garlic cashew spread
  • Tea
  • maaaaybe Ginger pineapple panna cotta… we’ll see if this triggers too much of a sugar craving, and if it can be made with pea-based milk instead of cream

My packed breakfast/lunch/snack for work last week:


Meal Prep for my workweek:


Last night I made:

  • Saag (spinach and collard greens) in the instant pot
  • Sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and onions
  • A massive hank of salmon, baked

In a few days (once this stuff is eaten) I’ll make:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • zucchini and tomato ‘glorp’ with whatever rice/lentils/beans we have on hand
  • Ground turkey and onion hash

I’m new to the forum and podcast, and am just listening to the Meal Planning episode from way back in June 2017. @anomalily mentions a magical index card system, and I would love to see a photo or two to really be able to get it. I checked the episode link and didn’t see it there. Apologies if it already exists elsewhere.

Really trying to get on track with meal planning, but struggle so much with motivating to be in the kitchen for hours right before jumping back into work. I have used Budget Bytes :burrito::avocado: for a while though, and love her simple, cheap recipes.


The index card system sounds really interesting! I’d like to know more about it, too.

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This week I ate:

1 pound hummus
1 pound baby carrots
1/2 pound kale
1/2 pound broccoli slaw
2 pounds grapes
1/3 pound sharp cheddar
1 pound store brand Triscuits
3 whole wheat pitas
plus two servings of leftover Chinese takeout and one serving homemade chicken and veggie curry last night.

In the summer, keeping things like grapes, hummus, cheese, and salad on hand means I don’t have to meal plan much as long as it’s just me. Husband eats more (hence the curry).

Edit: forgot peanut butter toast for breakfasts, and there’s a blackberry cobbler for Solstice cooking now, though I haven’t eaten any yet.

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