I started meal planning around seven years ago. Nothing too serious, just sitting down once a week to decide what my week day evening meals for the next week would be so that I could make sure I had the right ingredients and that items I’d bought specifically for one recipe could also be used in other meals in order to reduce waste.
Pre-pandemic, my meal plan would be on the fridge as part of my overview of the week (together with daily to do lists, appointments and social commitments). When those appointments and social commitments started to dry up last year I tried to keep the weekly plan going, but to be honest I just found it depressing to see that there was so little happening, and so I stopped the weekly overview and with it went my meal plan.
I like to organise my life on my phone. I’m an Android girl; I love my widgets that let me see key information at a glance. I tried using a note widget with my week’s meals on, but it was quite cumbersome.
The week’s meals at a glance
Then, some time towards the start of 2021, I decided to try using Google tasks for my meal planning. I added a task for each day with the name of that evening’s meal as the task and — where necessary — a short description of how to prepare it, a recipe book and page number or a link to an online recipe. Those tasks would then display on my calendar agenda widget so that I could see at a glance what I was eating when.
But the real benefit of this method came in subsequent weeks. Because each time I sat down to plan the following week’s meals I could scroll through the previous meals in Tasks for inspiration. I would either reuse an existing task with a new date or it would make me think about something similar I could try.
Meal planning now takes me very little time — and everything I need is in one place. I definitely recommend this method if you are also someone who likes to use your phone to help you organise yourself!