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Weekly Meal Planning for Married Couples: The Recipe for Success

Updated: Feb 17

Meal Management for Married Couples: The Recipe for Success

 

Life is busy for couples in dual-income homes, especially when there are children, making managing healthy and affordable meals efficiently challenging.


This post is for couples who want to work together to streamline mealtime routines and make it a stress-free experience. 


Meal Planning for the Week


Meal planning in a marriage is necessary for busy couples who want to avoid resorting to frozen pizzas and the expense of continuously eating out.


I have found it easiest to meal plan for our family week by week. It allows me to incorporate the nights we use home food delivery services, grocery shop for the meals I prepare from scratch, and select any nights to eat out as a family. I also need to work around the busy schedules that come with an active family of five.


Enjoying meals together is a timeless tradition that brings us together. Effective meal planning encourages healthier eating habits and makes it easier to work around our family's food allergies and dietary restrictions.


Create a Shared Meal Calendar


One of the keys to efficient meal planning is collaborating with your spouse to create a weekly shared calendar. This allows you to plan meals in advance, considering both schedules. 


Couples who take turns preparing meals can include details like who will be responsible for cooking or if they plan to eat out on certain days.


Here are the step-by-step instructions for creating and maintaining shared calendars using common calendar systems: 


Google


Apple 



The Old Fashioned Way: The Fridge 


Meal Management for Married Couples: The Recipe for Success

Where to Order Meal Prep

Home Delivery Services


Busy professionals and families often utilize meal delivery services to alleviate the stress of meal planning. Food delivery services such as Gobble deliver food to customers initiated by orders typically made through the supplier's website. Meal delivery services offer several advantages that cater to the modern lifestyle. 


  • They provide convenience by eliminating the need for grocery shopping and meal preparation, saving individuals valuable time and effort. 


  • Many services offer various menu options tailored to different dietary preferences and allergy restrictions. 


  • Meal delivery services promote healthier eating habits by offering nutritious, portion-controlled meals that help individuals maintain a balanced diet.


Our family utilizes Gobble up to three times a week. I wrote extensively about our experiences with Gobble in our past post, Our favorite meal delivery kit: Gobble.



 


 

Batch Cooking and Meal Prep


Save time during the week by dedicating a day to batch cooking and meal prep. Prepare large quantities of staple ingredients such as rice, pasta, and proteins. Store them in portion-sized containers for quick and easy assembly during busy days. This saves time and ensures that you have nutritious homemade meals readily available.


Explore Theme Nights


Make meal planning more enjoyable by incorporating theme nights into your routine. For example, have a "Mexican Monday" or "Italian Night" where you cook dishes inspired by those cuisines. This adds variety to your meals and makes planning more interesting.


Share Cooking Responsibilities


Divide and conquer when it comes to cooking. Designate specific days for each person to take charge of preparing meals. This not only eases the burden but also allows both partners to showcase their culinary skills.


Grocery Shopping Together


Plan a weekly grocery shopping trip together. This ensures that both partners know the available ingredients and can contribute to the shopping list. Shopping together can also be a fun and bonding activity.


 


 

Utilize Technology


Leverage technology to your advantage. Several meal-planning apps allow you to create shopping lists, plan meals, and discover new recipes. Sync these apps with your shared calendar for seamless coordination.


Coexist


Meal Management for Married Couples: The Recipe for Success

Childhood friends turned co-founders started Coexist in 2022 because they were frustrated that at work they had all the tools we could hope for, but at home they resorted to sticky notes and scattered texts.


Managing life at home without good systems and tools is hard work. Keeping track of everything that needs to be done and by when can be time-consuming and stressful and wear on relationships over time. We take for granted that housework keeps our world running, yet it's never-ending, invisible, and undervalued.


The Coexist mission is to eliminate the mental load by making housework more visible, collaborative, and automated. 


We have partnered with Coexist to offer 10% off to Modern Husbands followers. Use the code MODERN10 when signing up.



Flexible and Simple Recipes


Opt for flexible and simple recipes, especially on busy days. Having a repertoire of quick and easy-to-make meals can be a lifesaver. Look for recipes that require minimal ingredients and preparation time.


According to Dr. Tracey Brigman, who teaches various nutrition and dietary courses at the University of Georgia, rotisserie chicken is an excellent source of fast and easy meals and leftovers. For example, here are 50 Shortcut Dinner Recipes To Make With A Rotisserie Chicken


Dr. Tracey Brigman shared practical meal management ideas on a past episode of the Modern Husbands Podcast, Healthy Meal Planning Hacks for Busy People.


🔔 Click here to listen and subscribe to the Modern Husbands Podcast on Apple.

🔔 Click here to listen and subscribe to the Modern Husbands Podcast on Spotify.


Work Within Your Home System


It is critical that you and your partner have a system to manage the home as a team. Every relationship is different, so every system that supports the relationship will likely be different. 


If you have yet to establish a system, consider Fair Play. The Fair Play system separates the tasks that are needed to manage meals.


Mobile applications like Coexist make coordinating the tasks required for meal management easier. 


In our home, I volunteered to shoulder all the meal management responsibilities. I find it easier and love cooking, grilling, and smoking. This means I manage the full list of tasks at the bottom of this post. 


A Complete List of Meal Management Tasks


Menu Planning


  • Determine the meals for the week or month.

  • Select the nights you will eat out, use meal delivery services, and cook. 

  • Consider dietary restrictions, preferences, and nutritional balance.

  • Plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.


Recipe Selection


  • Choose recipes based on the menu plan.

  • Consider ingredients on hand and shopping lists.


Grocery Shopping


  • Create a grocery list based on planned meals and needed ingredients.

  • Shop for groceries at stores or online.

  • Compare prices and quality of items.


 


 

Food Preparation


  • Wash and chop fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients.

  • Precook or marinate meats if necessary.

  • Follow recipes and prepare meals according to instructions.

  • Consider batch cooking for efficiency.


Storage and Organization


  • Store perishable and non-perishable items appropriately.

  • Label and date leftovers and frozen items.

  • Keep the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer organized for easy access.


Meal Serving


  • Set the table with appropriate utensils, plates, and glasses.

  • Serve meals at designated times.

  • Accommodate special requests or dietary needs.


Cleanup


  • Wash dishes, pots, and pans.

  • Clean countertops, stovetops, and kitchen surfaces.

  • Sweep or vacuum kitchen floors.

  • Dispose of food waste properly.


Meal Evaluation and Adjustment


  • Solicit feedback from family members about meal preferences.

  • Assess the success of recipes and adjust future plans accordingly.

  • Consider nutritional balance and variety in meal options.


Special Occasions and Events


  • Plan and prepare meals for holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations.

  • Coordinate with family members or guests for special dietary needs or preferences.

  • Arrange for catering or potluck contributions if hosting a larger gathering.


Budgeting


  • Track food expenses and adjust meal plans accordingly.

  • Look for ways to save money through sales, coupons, or bulk purchases.

  • Consider the cost-effectiveness of different meal options.

  • Find credit cards that earn significant rewards for grocery shopping.

 


 

Communication and Coordination


  • Coordinate meal schedules with family members' activities and commitments.

  • Communicate any changes or adjustments to meal plans.

  • Foster a positive and collaborative atmosphere in the kitchen and dining area.


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