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Finding creativity in your weekly meal plan can be tough. Where do you start? What can you make? Where do those ideas come from? Those are all questions that come up when you go to your usual Taco Tuesday for the 7th Tuesday in a row. It can feel very repetitive, but maybe it helps your budget. There is another way. It’s the final day of our Saving Series. I am here to tell you how Pinterest can evolve your weekly meal plan and make it greater than you ever knew it could be without hurting your budget.
Day 4: How to Use Pinterest to Up Your Weekly Meal Plan Game
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is sort of like a visual Google. They look at related items you may like and show them on the home page, called the “smart feed.” You can click on each image to view the webpage to learn more. Pinterest is a little different than Google since it takes your previous clicks and saves and shows you related pins. This introduces you to new ideas and websites you may have never went to before.
Pinterest is known for the beautiful DIY projects and perfect looking recipes. We’ve all pinned hundreds of ideas knowing we would never do them. They just looked too tough, but are they? Yes, looking at a hundred at a time can seem overwhelming, but when you focus on one pin at a time, it seems a little more doable. Here’s how you can turn your weekly meal plan into something you wish you would have done a long time ago. You can use these strategies along with my free Meal Planning Guide to have the ultimate Meal Plan for your family in little effort each week.
So How Can I Use Pinterest to Help my Weekly Meal Plan?
Create Meal Boards
Organization is always one of the most important parts of making planning easy. It’s no different with Pinterest. Create specific boards designated to meals. I personally have boards for Dinner Ideas, Side Dish Ideas, Delicious Desserts, Breakfast Time, Snack Time, and more. They are all divided into their own separate board to make searching easier. Make as many meal boards as you need to cover all your categories of cooking. Check out my Pinterest page to view how my meal boards are set up. Take a look at my account to view these boards.
Pinterest now also offers “sections” within the same board. If you don’t want 10 boards of just meal planning, feel free to use these sections to categorize the meals within one big meal planning board. I still prefer to keep them all separate, but who knows, I may consolidate them one day.
Put Your Reviews or “Tries” on Pinterest
Once you make a meal, it’s important to notate how you made it. Maybe you didn’t have heavy cream, so you tried substituting milk and butter. Or maybe you loved the recipe, but it didn’t make enough to feed your family. These are all important things to remember so you can make them again the same way, or try something different. I recommend creating “Review” boards to organize everything.
Simply update the description of the pin and repin or resave the pin to a review board. I currently have the boards Dinners I’ve Made + Review, Side Dishes I’ve Made + Review, and Desserts I’ve Made + Review. I love pinning recipes on Pinterest. Sometimes I go overboard, so now I have hundreds of recipes in each meal board. Having a separate Review board for the category makes it easier to find that delicious homemade macaroni and cheese recipe I made last Thanksgiving without sorting through the other 30 ones I pinned.
Again, you can always choose to have your Review boards attached in a section of the board. No way is better than the other. It’s all about how you prefer to organize. I have been contemplating making this change with mine, but have not updated it as of yet.
Pinterest also has a cool new feature called “tries.” You get to upload pictures and input comments about the recipe included. All of the recipes you’ve tried are located in its own tab to make it easier to find. This feature is great, but I have not found a way to organize it. Since I’ve made more than 300 Pinterest recipes (I’m crazy right?), I need more organization. If you are just experimenting with making Pinterest recipes, the tries section is great to use. When you start to make more and more recipes, making your own boards may be a better option.
Browse through Pins
Don’t make looking for recipes a chore. Choose to either look for pins a few minutes a night or once a week for no more than 20 minutes. I enjoy going on Pinterest before bed and click on recipes, crafts, and any other pins that interest me. Pin anything that sounds intriguing, but check the ingredients to make sure this is something you would actually make. Try to stick to recipes with less than 10 ingredients and no more than 1-2 ingredients you don’t usually buy. If you buy 3-4 new ingredients for an Asian stir fry and don’t like it, you will have no idea what you didn’t like and will never want to use those ingredients again. That only wastes food and money.
Once you have a few recipes in each board, meal planning will get so much easier! I go through my Dinner Ideas and Side Dishes boards every few weeks and browse ideas I pinned. This takes me no longer than 5 minutes. I recommend starting with 1 recipe every 2 weeks and increasing from there.
Add a Making this Week Board
Yes, another board, but you will love this one! This is my biggest tip for organizing and helping you meal plan. Create a “Making this Week” board. This is a board you pin any recipes you will be making that week (or the week after because another one just looked too delicious to pass up).
Pinterest now allows you to have public and “secret” boards. I have my Making this Week a secret board since other people are not interested in what I’m eating. This board allows you to find that recipe you pinned, got all the ingredients for, but now can’t find it in your 30 different macaroni and cheese pins. It keeps them separate. I love this board since it saves me so much time searching and remembering what I was going to make. We all know mom brain is REAL.
My Weekly Meal Plan
Pinterest saves me so much time creating my weekly meal plan. It also makes it that much more interesting by making new recipes. Yes, 300 recipes may sound insane, but we have found some amazing recipes we include as dinner regulars. If you’ve ever pinned any recipes, scroll through them and find one new recipe to make next week. Include it in your weekly meal plan. You can also use my free meal planning template to make meal planning even easier. It will save you time and money! The best part is it even comes with 90+ dinner ideas!