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How We Plan Dinners for the Week

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I’m finally getting back on track after our trip to Utah and a few days in bed with the flu! Now that I’m on the road to recovery, I’m dying to get back to my usual routine. Speaking of routines, today I’m sharing my tips for planning dinners for the week and talking about the app that is seriously life changing when it comes to grocery shopping.

When I first graduated college, I rarely made myself a full blown dinner. Mainly because it was a lot of work to make a huge meal for one person. I had a lot of cereal, oatmeal, veggies and hummus and other snacks for dinner which isn’t healthy at all.  When I moved in with Ryan, I figured it was time to get in the habit of planning out dinners and cooking most nights of the week! What I found to be the most difficult part of this was finding a way to keep all our recipes organized in a way that I could easily pick up the ingredients for them when I’m grocery shopping without having to sit down and go through each recipe and write out a list. Also, Ryan does a lot of the cooking, recipe finding and helps with grocery shopping pretty often so we needed something that would help us stay organized together. That’s when Ryan discovered the Paprika app and I can honestly say grocery shopping has never been easier. I want to preface this by saying that this is not sponsored at all! It is just something we truly love!

The Paprika App

The Paprika App allows you to create your own profile (Ryan and I share a profile so we can both access everything on one account!) where you can download your favorite recipes from the internet or upload them yourself. If you download a recipe from the internet, it automatically organizes the ingredients, directions and all the other information for you which is amazing! You can also give the recipe a rating so you can keep track of the recipes you like and don’t like.

Ok and that’s not even the best part! My favorite feature is the grocery basket feature! Once you decide which recipes you’re going to make, there is a grocery basket icon at the top of each recipe page that you hit and it automatically adds all the ingredients to your grocery list. If two recipes call for the same ingredient it will usually total up how much you need for all the recipes. After you’ve added all the recipes ingredients you can go back and remove anything you already have at home. You can also add in additional items that aren’t part of the recipes like snacks, milk, etc. so that your entire grocery list is in one place. The app allows you to check off each item as you shop too!

This app is truly the best app and so amazing for new couples who are trying new recipes and getting the hang of cooking together on week nights!

Where we find recipes

There are so many amazing place to look for recipes, I’ve listed a few of our favorites below!

The Skinny Taste: This is ALWAYS the first place we look for new recipes. I’d say about 85% of the things we make come from Skinny Taste

Domesticate ME/The Dude Diet: She has so many great healthy twists on your favorite foods

Cooking with The New York Times: I feel like they have a lot of great recipes and I always trust them.

Barefoot Contessa: Her recipes are AMAZING for when you really want to impress

How we decide what to make

Although we love mixing in some interesting meals and new recipes, we don’t make a crazy involved recipe every night of the week. We typically grocery shop on Sundays and buy dinners for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. When picking recipes/meals we usually try to get in one fish, one chicken and one red meat recipe each week. For the fourth night we might repeat one of the categories or have some pasta with veggies or something meat free.

Sunday’s are the nights that we’ll typically try a new recipe since we have a lot of time to cook! In the winter we love trying out new soups.

Mondays we will usually go with something easy and whatever spoils the fastest – usually the fish. Typically, we just season our fish with a pre-made spice rub and serve it with a side of rice or veggies. My all time favorite make at home fish is the everything crusted salmon at Whole Foods. Also, I love having these rice packets on had as an easy added side!

Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll try a new recipe or make another simple dinner like chicken and veggies. I rarely eat steak so when we eat red meat or pork its usually ground up in some kind of dish like our favorite egg roll in a bowl or picadillo.

The rest of the week is always up in the air between social events, family events, take out and date night in/out. If we do date night in sometimes we’ll try a new recipe for fun or grill in the summer!


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