The more serious we are about eating healthy and saving money, the more details we have to keep track of when planning meals, buying ingredients, and preparing dishes. Bullet journal meal planning is a great way to curb poor eating habits — and your food budget — by becoming more aware of what goes into menus for you and your family.
You can relax! That daily dinner dash will become a thing of the past. You’re going to discover how to take one convenient notebook and use it to combine your meal planning, recipes, grocery lists, and food budget.
1. So, What is Bullet Journal 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’s a planner 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 notebook. 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.
2. Meal Planning
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 buy more of. Repeat for all other meals, but only use the distinct “buy more” bullet point once per ingredient. When all your meals and their ingredients have been listed, make a note of quantity for each ingredient next to the distinctly bullet pointed items. That way, you can quickly see which items, and how much of them, you will need to buy.
Here is an example…
*Chicken Breasts (4)
*Chicken Broth (4 cans)
-Frozen Bell Peppers
Broccoli Chicken Bowls:
*Carrots (Big Bundle)
3. 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 they’re easily accessible the next time you make that dish. Also, use a distinct bullet symbol for the steps you need to do in advance.
4. Budgeting Money and Time
If you’re like me, you chronically cut coupons but forget to bring them with you to the store. 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.
5. Continue to Bullet Journal Meals
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!