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Meal Planning 101

Today I have a very special treat for all of you. My sweet friend Amanda is here today to give you all a lesson in Meal Planning 101. Now let me tell you something. I'm a college student and I have taken a few "101" classes in the past year and a half. None of those were about meal planning, but they totally should have been.

Think about it...a college student on my own for the first time and realizing I have to cook, clean, AND do my own laundry. I definitely could have used some of these tips. Oh and did I mention that Amanda considers chips and guac to be a complete can you NOT love her?!

Hi y'all! My  name is Amanda and I'm the creative mind
Royal Daughter Designs. This is me:
I'm a country girl, farming and ranching on 8 beautiful Texas acres. My husband, Mr. E., is a minister and a seminary professor and  I'm a small business owner and graduate student. I'm a has-been foster moma self-proclaimed animal lover, laundry procrastinator, sweet tea junkie, and high-heel hater.

In an attempt to simplify my life I try to be diligent to menu plan every week. Several months ago I got really motivated and menu planned for a whole month! It was such a blessing to come home and not have to wonder what in the world I was going to fix for supper.

Here's five tips for implementing menu planning in your home:

Meal Planning 101: by Royal Daughter Designs

1. Find out what you have. I know I'm not the only one who has a pantry full of perfectly good food. Yet for some reason I tend to let it just sit there looking pretty (or pretty cluttered, in my case) while thinking nothing of making a grocery store run for much needed supplies. Case in point: pasta. I have a ton of different types of pasta. But I replace spaghetti noodles like nobody's business. Cork screw, bowtie, and elbow noodles are often forgotten - that is until I take inventory and realize that there's nothing wrong with bowtie alfredo. 

If you're feeling really brave: plan a whole week's worth of menus based on only the inventory you already have. No grocery shopping and no eating out. Do you think you can do it?

2. Plan meals based on seasonal fruits and vegetables. My husband and I love fresh fruits and vegetables. And in-season produce is much cheaper (and much healthier) than out-of-season produce. I plan my weekly menus based on which fresh fruits and veggies I know I'll be able to find at the grocery store.

Meal Planning 101: by Royal Daughter Designs

3. Plan meals that use similar ingredients. Since it's just the two of us I often have left overs, and let me tell you, I am not a leftover eater. But I also don't throw out food, so I plan menus that call for like ingredients. For example, if I plan on spaghetti early in the week, I'll plan homemade pizza later that week. That allows me to use up the ingredients without having leftovers.

4. Try something new. I'm not a very good pinterest-er, but I do utilize the site for saving new recipes that I know I'll want to make. Trying new recipes not only adds diversity to the menu, but it keeps things from getting too boring in the kitchen. I also have several cookbooks that I flip through every week looking for a new recipe. I generally select recipes that call for ingredients that I keep on hand, I really don't want to buy a random ingredient that will go bad before I use it again.

5. Have a few go-to meals. I'll be honest. Sometimes I don't stick to the menu plan. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for whatever is on the menu. Other times I'm just too tired, or I don't have enough time, to spend in the kitchen creating a scrumptious dinner. I have a handful of meals that are super easy and for which I know I'll always have the ingredients. Tacos, lentil soup, and open-faced veggie sandwiches are a few of my go-to meals when I'm lacking inspiration. And when all else fails, chips & guac is always an option. Can I get an amen?

Meal Planning 101: by Royal Daughter Designs

I don't know about you, but one of my least favorite chores is doing the dishes. Today I'm giving away one of my original prints that I created as a not-so-subtle hint for my husband:

And since you can't all be a winner, here's a little something to help jump start your meal planning adventure, inspired by Danielle!

downloadable printable available here. enjoy!
Happy meal planning, and good luck! Thanks Danielle for sharing your blog with me today!

{This month's advertisement}


WIWW: Polka Dots

WIWW: Polka Dots c/o OASAP
the knotted belt technique
love these black wedges from
Top: c/o OASAP | Jeans: Kohl's | Belt: Target
Bracelet: c/o Sassy Lemonade | Shoes:

Use code: FROSTING on to receive 35% off your ENTIRE purchase! 

This week is going to one of those weeks.

The kind of week where you're staying up late just to get things done.
For every one thing you cross off your to-do list, another two things get added.
The homework, the lab sessions, and studying for exams never seems to stop around here.

I'm working my butt of this week.
I'm anxiously awaiting for Friday so that I can have time to relax.
Some retail therapy, a nice warm bath, and catching up on my Hulu queque.
Painting my nails, baking some cookies, and curling up with a blanket on the couch.
Doing next week's grocery shopping while enjoying a warm Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte. 

Sometimes we need a break and I'm realizing lately that it's okay to do just that.
The e-mails that need replies, the dirty dishes in the sink, the can all wait.
It can all wait until tomorrow. Or maybe...
It can wait a little while longer. Let's say, next week?

{This month's advertisement}


Small Biz September

This month, I opened up a brand new opportunity for my sponsors called Small Biz September. I am so lucky to have such fabulous shops on board this month and it's about time I introduce you to them. They each sell one-of-a-kind items that you are sure to love. Whether you're into fashion, stationery, or design, these shops have you covered!

Oh, and did I mention they were so generous to provide DISCOUNT codes for all of you?!

Small Biz September at Framed Frosting - Fashion in the Forest

The Framed Frosting Bracelet Set
Tiffany at Fashion in the Forest is offering 25% off any purchase
Just use the discount code: FRAMEDFROSTING

I just absolutely love this bracelet. Tiffany is a frequent reader of my blog and was inspired to create a bracelet set based on my blog colors. This bracelet is perfect for anyone who needs a pop of color!

Small Biz September at Framed Frosting - Yellow Umbrella Design

Personalized Stationery
Britt at Yellow Umbrella Design is offering 20% off any purchase
Just use discount code: FRAMEDFROSTING

I am an absolute sucker for stationery. There's just something so special about writing a handwritten note rather than typing up a text or an email. Besides...who doesn't love getting mail surprises?

Small Biz September at Framed Frosting - Yellow Umbrella Design

Antique Silver Skeleton Key Charm Necklace
Amanda at Ninth Street Notions is offering 20% off your purchase
Just use discount code: FROSTING

Antique jewelry is something that has always caught my eye. The beautiful shapes and the intrict designs never cease to amaze me. This old skeleton key necklace is the perfect gift!

Small Biz September at Framed Frosting - Ali Grace Designs

Rose Ring from the Vintage Collection - Choose your Color
Ali at Ali Grace Designs is offering 10% off your purchase 
Just use discount code: FAMEFBLOG

These rings are fun, colorful, and would make an amazing statement piece. They come in many colors and the prices are reasonable so it's okay to buy more than one!

Small Biz September at Framed Frosting - Kitty Meow

DIY Baby Sea Animal Baby Shower Invites
Cat from Kitty Meow Boutique is offering 10% off your purchase 
Just use discount code: KITTYFROSTING10

I love baby showers. Granted, I've never been to one but the idea of celebrating a new baby is adorable. So why not have an adorable invitation to go along with it? This one which features baby sea animals is adorable and gender neutral too - just in case you're keeping it a surprise!

Small Biz September at Framed Frosting - A Cat-Like Curiosity

Wonderful Onesie from the Animal Magic Collection
Sarah at A Cat-Like Curiosity is offering 10% off storewide
Just use discount code: CURIOUS

Speaking of baby showers...your attendance wouldn't be complete without a gift for the new baby. This onesie is adorable and so unique that it's sure to make any baby stand out.

Small Biz September at Framed Frosting - Ciera Design

Peacock Party Printable Invitation
Ciera from Ciera Design is offering 10% off your purchase 
Just use discount code: 10PERCENTOFF

I love a good party. I hosted a Favorite Things Party awhile back and had so much fun creating the invitations. With that said...they were absolutely nothing like these. I mean, an invite for a GNO and peacock feathers -- count me in!

{This month's advertisement}
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