June 4, 2014

Easy Meal Planning with Pinterest

If you're anything like me, you started out on Pinterest with a few general boards. Food. Drinks. Style.

I have been using Pinterest since it started and I now have literally thousands of pins and quite a few more boards than I started with.

Let's just ignore the fact that I am nowhere near as crafty or stylish as my boards suggest so the majority of those pins will never be put to good use!

Back when Google Reader was still in existence I didn't use Pinterest much for meal planning. Reader had a search feature, so I would just dig through the recipes there. When Google shut their reader down I realized I needed to save all those recipes somewhere...

Back to Pinterest.

The problem was the lack of a decent search feature. Find what you pinned depends entirely on finding the exact phrase you used in the caption. To counteract this, I sub-divided my food boards into Mains, sides, desserts, etc. This allowed me to look through a smaller batch of pins to find what I was looking for. Since I have a very visual memory, this works well for me. I'll usually recognize the pin I'm looking for with just a bit of skimming.

Next I added a secret board called Dinner Favorites. This is where I pulled all my tried and true recipes into one place. When I make something new that is a hit with the family, I re-pin it to this board. The only reason I used a secret board was to keep the re-pins from clogging the feed. I originally thought I might use it as an online menu, and change the pins from week to week. In the end, it's easier to keep everything together in one places.

When I sit down to meal plan I can pop back and forth between the dinner favorites board and the board of things I want to try. This allows me to keep a good balance between old and new recipes so I'm not too stressed by all unfamiliar dishes during a busy week.

What are your favorite meal planning tips?


  1. Argh, I sooooo miss the search function from Google Reader! I used to "like" things in Bloglovin but its impossible to find them, so I started emailing them to myself instead.

  2. Between Pinterest and my good old fashioned pen & paper I am pretty much covered and don't really have any special tips. Aside the fact that I started incorporating my meal planner and shopping list into my daily planner pages I made.

  3. I am pretty much the same way, but I do use pen & paper as well. I have a slight addiction to planner making so I usually wind up using meal planners I design myself.

  4. I love to use Pinterest to bookmark recipes as well!!! I used to only have one big Food board, but broke it down into categories like you did. I am following you, by the way :). As for my dinner planning, I just sit down and write a list of 7 meals to make and then make a shopping list. I try to use ingredients for multiple dishes and try to balance meals - carb, veg, protein.

  5. "Liking" things in Bloglovin drives me bonkers! I still use it, but I try not to go more than a week without pinning them or it is too overwhelming (like the Friday night a few weeks ago that I pinned for about 2 hours straight to clear it out!)

  6. You make your own planners? That's really cool-I'd love to know more! How do you make them?

  7. Now that the boys are eating the same food that we are I am trying to be really conscious of the balance between dishes and add some filling meatless meals in there too. I try to do the same thing with using ingredients for multiple meals-that really helps the grocery bill!

  8. I actually have a post coming up about making your own planner, but it basically boils down to me making some decorative graphic elements like patterns or shapes in Photoshop, saving them as images and then using InDesign to create the pages layout and save it all as PDF and print it out.


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