Teachers Who Cook: Part I - Meal Planning

Hi friends! 

The super duper ridiculously adorable Haley {Miss L's Busy Bees}, and I are so excited to be doing this series for you all. 

Haley and I both LOVE cooking, cookbooks, and meal planning, but know how overwhelming and darn near impossible it can seem during the school year. We are here to give you our best tips, tricks, ideas, and organization to help you prepare for the school year ahead so that it doesn't seem so darn near impossible. We swear it's not! 

First up... meal planning

I know. I know. I know. You have heard this 9,324,761 times, but the key to not eating or stopping at the 20 restaurants you pass on your way home from work {Head Over Heals for Teaching:)}  or just resorting to Warhead Chewy Cubes {Teaching and So Fourth:)} is to plan out your week. Even if it's just 3-4 meals a week.

This is kind of one of those things that you just have to do, and there's really no wrong or right way to do it. Below is an example of my weekly meal planner and grocery list. I usually have 1 or 2 blanks, because even I kind of just wing it somedays too.

I do this every week. I sometimes even do it in bed at night {I legit "read" cookbooks at night in bed- I like looking at the pictures :)}. Otherwise I do it on Saturday or Sunday morning and then go grocery shopping on Sunday morning. If you do go shopping on Sunday, and don't want to have to drink a bottle of wine to recover, the earlier the better. Otherwise, I have been known to have to stop at the liquor store on the way home just to recover from the experience of shopping at 2 in the afternoon on a Sunday.

I event took a picture of my shopping cart for you. Now, full disclosure here, there is nothing like the peer pressure of taking a picture of your shopping cart to hold off on adding stuff, so I'm not always this good ha!

I had stuff at home for lunches and breakfasts, so I didn't have to buy much for that. This is basically food for 4-5 dinners.

I also had a steak and some Italian Sausage at home that I was going to use, and I had been to the store a few days earlier to get stuff like toilet paper and paper towels.

Where do I get my meal ideas? We are going to talk more specifically about each of my go-to places but I will give you some ideas in case you want to get started now

I don't use Pinterest a lot, but I tend to use it when I get a hankering for something and want to find a recipe quick. This is also where I tend to get lunch ideas, because despite how much I love cooking, I HATE packing lunches. 

By far my favorite cookbook for weekly cooking. Most of the recipes are quick, so good, and light! 

I love when you can make stuff in one pot, because I HATE cleaning :). I don't do Weight Watchers, but it still has lots of great recipes, lightened up, and did I mention: ONE POT #winning.
Serious girl crush on The Pioneer Women. Everything she makes is amazing, normal, and usually pretty simple. 

I have WAY MORE cookbooks I will talk about in our next post, but these are my 3 main ones. 

I think, in general, the idea is to remember that you have to do what works for you at this state in the game, especially if you are just starting out. I love cooking, and I shoot to cooke 5-6 nights a week. 

Sometimes it's more like 4 days because of things like teacher conferences or school carnivals. Sometimes, when my husband has been traveling a lot for work, I will cook all 7 nights because he refuses to go out to eat one more time. 

I will have more recipe ideas in the following posts, but if you make grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, and quesadillas this week (all simple and full of cheese!) you are already on your way to being a cook!

 Just make a list of the ingredients you need, head to the store, and you already have three meals planned for the week! 


We have a super helpful FREEBIE for you. There are 6 different options of meal planning and grocery shopping printables included in this freebie pack.

Just click on any of the images below to download your lists and get meal planning.

Make sure to check out Haley's post to at Miss L's Busy Bees. 

And come back next week when we talk about our favorite gadgets, appliances, and cookbooks. 
And their might be another FREEBIE :).