How I Use Pinterest to Meal-Plan

Chili Lime Fajita Salad
My Pinterest is a cluttered, hot mess. Just trying to find my way around all of the boards on there gives me a headache. I end up finding the perfect dessert for next week's bible study and planning how to redecorate the baby's room, but all I really wanted needed to do was make dinner.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a quick and easy way to reorganize and or/delete your pins. I certainly do not have time to sift through 3,000 photos and delete the clutter one pin at a time.

I need a better way to harness Pinterest's amazing resources when it comes to meal-planning. I want to be able to find that one recipe I tried a month ago, without wading through a bunch of other things that make me drool - things that I don't even have the ingredients for.

We've all experienced the before-dinner panic or the pang of frustration when you look at your grocery bill and realize you bought lots of unnecessary items. Meal-planning can save you tons of money and stress. BUT it can sap a lot of your time.

Enter my quick method of meal-planning Pinterest boards.

Each month, I create a new board for my meals for that month. It doesn't have to be everything I want to make, but it gives me a go-to for the ingredients in my cupboards and the things I need to add to my grocery list.

I put everything in this board. Main dishes, side dishes, snacks I want to make for the baby, breakfasts I need to try so I eat healthy in the morning, everything. All in one place.

Then, at the end of the month, I go through that board and re-pin any recipe that I actually made (that I think is worth making again). I write any of my notes/changes in the description. These pins go into my main food boards.

Then I delete the entire board for that month. That step is important, because otherwise, I would just be creating more clutter within my Pinterest. When looking for a recipe, I have too many different food boards as it is, so going through everything month by month would only make this worse. Delete each month's board once you are done with it!

I also have a word document that serves as my recipe Master List. Any of these new recipes I want to save, I add to the master list. (Not the entire recipe. Just the name of the recipe.) Then when I am grocery shopping, I can do an even quicker read-through of the things I'd like to prepare.

It works like a charm, and saves me hours of recipe-searching. And guess what? I'm actually making the recipes I pin on pinterest. Shocking, I know. Here's a few that I've tried:
  • Mini Meatballs for Baby success! Plus they're tasty enough to feed the whole family.
  • Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad definite success, excellent flavor in the marinade/dressing! I did make the mistake of purchasing chicken thighs with skin and bones, though; ohmyword the extra prep work...
  • Low-Carb Teriyaki Turkey Bowls yummy, easy, and the cauliflower rice is great (though you could use regular rice if you wanted).
  • Low-Carb Cauliflower Pot Pies I ended up making biscuits instead of the little cauliflower crusts (it was a looonggg day), but the pot pie filling was easy + excellent.
Pot Pie Filling with Homemade Biscuits
Streamline the way you use Pinterest and it will change your life. Don't save pins unless you've already made them and know that that recipe works (half the time, the link is wrong anyway and sends you on a wild goose chase!). The more pins you gather and don't intend to follow through on, the more you'll feel like a failure, a window shopper, and a girl who just doesn't finish things. We don't want that, now do we?

I hope this helps! Do you meal-plan? Why or why not? How has meal-planning saved you money or helped keep you on a budget?

12 comments:

  1. Awesome idea caitlin! I'll give this a try sometime! I have tried several different ways to menu plan, but realized it's going to take time anyway I do it. The key is finding a method I enjoy and stick to it! I can't wait to try some of your recipes! Is your monthly board public? The

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it does take extra time, you just have to decide how much time you're willing to tak eon it, and then stick with that ;) The monthly board is public. Is the link not working for you?

      Delete
  2. What a great idea to help meal planning! I love that you'll have all the meals you know you want to come back to in one place. I'll have to give that a try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having them all in one place is the key, it's already saved me oodles of time.

      Delete
  3. I love this idea! It's so hard to try to organize my boards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so tough, I like to be creative and specific, so I end up having a million boards! It would be stellar if I could just do a word search in there.

      Delete
  4. That's such a great idea! I really need to organize my Pinterest boards too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinterest should be a tool, not a time-sucker, right? haha

      Delete
  5. Umm.... what an amazing idea!!! I've slowly been cleaning up my boards, and it is sooooo very time consuming...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep wanting to sit down for an hour or two and organize them, but then I'm like, "What's the point? That's soooo much effort!" If only I had started Pinterest off the right way..

      Delete
  6. I feel like I did a pretty good job of organizing my pins when I started using Pinterest a million years ago *wink* but still add new boards here and there as needed. I also use Pinterest as inspiration for meal planning but I just hop over to one of my boards for chicken or soups or whatever and scroll through there. When I find one I like, I save it to my tried and true board and if it's no good, then I delete it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, I did not start off right at all. I was using Pinterest more as a gathering of pretty pictures, instead of a tool to organize my life, ha. Bravo to you!

      Delete