Welcome to Gatheredtable!
We’re so excited that you’re embarking on meal planning.
You’ll save time and money, reduce your stress, and eat healthier!
Everyone needs to start somewhere! We encourage you to be realistic when you first start meal planning — begin with a plan for only 2-3 nights a week, and choose simple dishes that you know will be a good fit for your household. If you have a few “favorites” that you’re already comfortable cooking, add them to your personal recipe library (use our web recipe clipper!) and set the frequency you want to see them on your menus. You might also want to include the other members of your household in helping to set each week’s plan – getting everyone on board and excited makes it more fun!
Steps to Successful Weekly Meal Planning with Gatheredtable
1. Set aside time each week for planning
Gatheredtable will make meal planning a snap, but you still need to set aside a few minutes each week to use our tools. So, pick a regular time that works best for you (we love Saturday morning with a big mug of coffee). It doesn’t matter when you do it – what’s important is that a quick weekly planning session becomes part of your routine.
2. Inventory your refrigerator
Start by getting that fridge tidy and organized (it feels really good)! Go through and toss out anything you can’t salvage. As you go, make note of any perishable ingredients you’d like to use up in the coming week. You’ll want this list handy as you review and edit your menu.
3. Review your menu and finalize your plan
Log into Gatheredtable and check out your menu. Think about your other plans for the week ahead, and adjust your menu to finalize which days you will cook and what you’ll make each day. If you have perishables you’d like to use up, search for recipes by ingredient and add them to your menu.
4. Check your pantry before you shop
Our grocery list makes it easy! Confirm whether you have the pantry items (and the right amount) that you need for the coming week’s menu so you can finalize your grocery list.
5. Print out your menu, recipes and grocery list (Optional)
Once you have a plan, print the menu to hang on your fridge, the grocery list for taking to the store, and the recipes for ease in the kitchen. Or, save the paper and reference it all from your mobile device!
6. Head to the store (or order your groceries online!)
Your plan isn’t done until you have the ingredients you need on-hand. Then you’ll be ready to tackle the week ahead!
And remember, the key to meal planning is committing to the process. As the weeks go by, you’ll start to enjoy the planning process and notice your nightly stress about “What’s for dinner?” fade away. If you have a week when your plan goes berserk, don’t worry – just start again! Remember, we’re in your corner.