Using Pinterest to Stay Out of a Meal Planning Rut

by Emily Babb

Hi, it’s Emily, one of 5 Minutes for Mom’s Summer Interns. Today I’m sharing how I use Pinterest to meal plan.

It doesn’t take much to get into a serious meal planning rut. Growing up we seemed to eat the same 10 or so meals—spaghetti, baked pork chops, yet another casserole. The list goes on.

Years ago I would scour food magazines and cook books for new week night meal ideas. Lucky for me, the more blogging became popular, the more food blogging became popular, and thus my meal planning then revolved around a few blogs.

We still managed to eat the same things.

Pinterest however, has revolutionized meal planning for my little family. Instead of just having access to the 10 or so food blogs I read, my stack of magazines, and the ever growing collection of cookbooks in the kitchen; I can now easily find tons of meal ideas at the drop of a hat on one website.

What I love most about using Pinterest to meal plan is that it fits every dietary need, budget, or just plain taste preference. There are tons of blogs by moms with picky eaters, super health freaks, and just plain really yummy awful for you food recipes.

So how do I plan my meals around Pinterest?

Simple, I play on Pinterest in my spare time. When a recipe comes along that I like I pin it under a specific category within my boards and save it for a later date. A few days before I go grocery shopping  I pull Pinterest back up and browse my boards to see what meals interest me the most for that week. If my husband has a preference I will go pull a recipe he wants, otherwise I just write all of my ingredients into an easy weekly meal planning template.

One side is for grocery shopping, the other lists my meals.

I hooked my own mother on this idea and she even goes so far to have other categories in her Pinterest board to move recipes to a “Cooked It” board so she knows what she has made. Both of us also write down the website we got the recipe from so we can easily come back to it without having to go through the hundreds (or thousands) or recipes within our Pinterest boards.

Using Pinterest to Meal Plan

Another option for bloggers would be to blog your weekly meal plan. It’s quickly becoming a popular Monday blog topic for many blogs out there. A bonus I’ve found that comes with blogging our meal plan, is that if I forget to get something out of the freezer or I can’t cook that night I can call my husband and he can handle it. He simply pulls up my blog post from Monday and finds the week day we are currently on and cooks with the recipe link there.

Using Pinterest to meal plan takes you from the same old recipes, to experimenting and trying out new ingredients. It helps to organize what you’ve tried, what’s failed miserably, and saves what you love. By meal planning with Pinterest, I’ve helped our family evolve from the Tuesday Night Taco rut to trying out new recipes weekly and enjoying it.

Get Ideas from our Recipes Board

Your Turn

You can find more recipes in our Food blog post category.

Now share with us, what are some of your favorite weeknight meals or Pinterest recipes?


Written by Emily Babb

Emily, the blogger behind Louisiana Bride writes about the humor in daily life as a graduate school wife and elementary school teacher. Her love of food has brought about a link-up called Meal Pinning Monday and new recipes weekly. She loves Target, traveling, nail polish, and tends to be a hippie health nut.

Email Author    |    Website About Emily Babb

Emily, the blogger behind Louisiana Bride writes about the humor in daily life as a graduate school wife and elementary school teacher. Her love of food has brought about a link-up called Meal Pinning Monday and new recipes weekly. You can also find her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jamie June 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm

This is such a great idea! Since I use Pinterest for my site, I have no excuses not to use it to plan meals for my family too.


2 Emily Babb June 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thanks Jamie!


3 stephanie June 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I admit, while in school, i committed the same crime. We rotated about 10 different meals every week. Poor Luke. lol. We have you to thank for my inspiration of being more creative with food :)


4 Emily Babb June 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

Aww thanks Stephanie!!


5 Carole M June 8, 2013 at 1:16 am

I totally do this. Or as I find recipes I am going to use I make sure I pin them so I can go back and use them later. Pop into my foot board and make up a list. Easy!!


6 Emily Babb June 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

Exactly! Pinterest is seriously fabulous:)


7 Amy June 8, 2013 at 2:48 am

I love this idea but hate that you have to pay for a website in order to print the meal planner :(


8 Emily Babb June 8, 2013 at 9:39 am

You shouldn’t have to pay to download, I used a free account to host the pdf. However, I am having trouble with it downloading today and am trying to work out the kink. Once I get another pdf host I will let you know.


9 Emily Babb June 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

Just got it fixed. I uploaded to another site, apparently Scribed decided people should pay recently. Here is the link to the pdf download


10 Charlotte June 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

You have no idea. Just this morning, I was thinking that I was getting tired of eating the same three meals each week (even though I’ve become incredibly good at making them, LOL). Using Pinterest for meal planning is something I really didn’t think about, but it’s a great idea and I’m going to start doing this. Thank you! Stopping in from SITS Sharefest and hope you’re enjoying your weekend :)


11 Emily Babb June 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Thanks so much Charolette! Be sure to stop by my personal blog and share what meals you’re making, I’m always looking for new ideas!


12 Kimberlee June 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Going to start using this idea of incorporating pinterest into my meal plan. I do use some of the recipes I pinned but not really for meal planning. I like the menu plan form idea with the shopping list on the side. I use a form I made myself but it doesn’t have the shopping list on it – going to have to add one to mine.


13 Emily Babb June 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Adding the shopping list to mine definitely cut down on how many lists I had laying around. I tend to be a list making lady.


14 Roni Faida June 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I never thought about doing this, didn’t even know pinterest had recipes. I don’t plan my meals, I just buy what looks good at the farmer’s market, get some fish and figure it out! But I love to cook and I don’t have kids so I think it’s easy for me to just cook on the fly. I may have to start looking at pinterest differently! Thanks! Got you from Saturday Sharefest!


15 Emily Babb June 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Thanks so much for stopping by! I didn’t meal plan until after I was married, it was easier to go on the fly before then. Oh I wish we had a nice farmer’s market here!


16 Pamela June 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm

What a great idea! Pinterest can be used for so many different things. It amazes me all the different ways we come up with to organize our lives. :)


17 Jennifer June 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I love this post. I use Pinterest to find recipes but they are all lumped together on one seriously huge board. I am going to start breaking it up by meal and type. We have been in such a meal rut that I needed a new idea. I save so much money if I meal plan and stick to it!


18 Lisa June 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I’m glad the link to the menu planning page is easier! Meal Planning has helped me focus more on better meals and cut back on money spent without any thought to how I would use the impulse items.


19 Tammy S June 10, 2013 at 8:29 am

This is a great idea. I have found tons of recipes on Pinterest that I would love to try. my problem is I need to start meal planning. We are in a major rut. I love that you can plan your menu and your shopping list all in one shot. I need to try this and see if I can get into a rhythm.


20 Jennifer June 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

Just to follow up – I started 3 new boards last night. Breakfast, lunch, and supper. I went through my big huge recipe board and started dividing up the recipes that I am most likely to use. Tonight, I am going to start a Cooked It board so I can easily access recipes I am familiar with. Then I am going to start a Budget Meals board because I need to cut down our food budget. Thanks for the ideas!

This is my favorite Pinterest recipe – it is SO GOOD:

Creamed Avocado and Lime Cilantro Pasta


21 Emily July 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Awesome! Once I categorized my boards that way it helped out so much, I definitely need to make a cooked it board now.


22 Bonnie Way June 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I’ve found some great recipes on Pinterest too. I like my Netbook because I can take it to the kitchen and just glance at it to cook, instead of printing the recipe. :) Thanks for the tips!


23 Lauren June 11, 2013 at 2:18 am

I love using Pinterest for recipe ideas! Thanks to Pinterest, I might be able to clean out some old cookbooks from my home!


24 Kay Gee June 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

breakfast for dinner


25 Debbie Bashford June 12, 2013 at 6:07 am

I love pinterest for recipes, I need to do this type of setup, did you know you can now search your own pins.


26 Tammy S June 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

This would be great for us. My daughter said to me the other day that we eat the same things over and over. I guess we really are in a rut.


27 Lynda Del June 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Great idea! Thanks for sharing! :)


28 LaVonne June 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm

A “Cooked It” board is such a great idea. I love Pinterest for recipe ideas. It would be great for meal planning too!


29 Mandi Noel June 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I do the exact same thing! My Pinterest boards are very subdivided, just like yours. I also have a board like your mom has, called “Tested Recipes.” After I make something (and we like it) I always move it over to the Tested board and will add information to the description box about how I might have changed or wanted to change the recipe so I can remember for next time. This really comes in handy because my husband can be particular so I usually make little changes to suit him here and there.
As far as my planning goes, I don’t currently blog, so I have a separate board titled “This Week’s Meal Plan” where I move all the recipes I plan to use that week. It makes them so much easier to find when I’m ready to cook because I have literally thousands of pins.
In fact, I am off to cook something on my meal plan board right now!


30 Heidi C. June 12, 2013 at 10:43 pm

This is great! I am always feeling like I am in a meal planning rut so this will help a lot!


31 Carrie at In the Hammock Blog June 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm

what a great idea! i need to organize my pinterest recipes more. thanks!


32 Omima June 17, 2013 at 12:11 am

Good meal deal


33 Andrea June 18, 2013 at 7:06 pm

How did we ever survive without Pinterest?! Great tips for using it for meal planning! :)


34 Tracy Robertson June 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

This sounds like a good idea. I am a fairly new Pinterest user, so I am just learning the ropes but I will keep this in mind. Teriyaki Chicken is a regular meal in my household. We love it and it’s easy to make. But I’ve been looking for new ways to make chicken because it’s nice to mix it up.


35 kymi a June 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Pinterest is really incredible so many ideas and now meal planning too. I love all the recipes and can’t wait to try it plus my family won’t get bored with the same stuff. Can’t wait to try my cooked it board great idea.


36 My Baby Pajamas June 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I do the same every week. I look at pinterest all week and pin what I would like to cook or bake. Saturday morning I make my list and it’s off to the store. We love the Auntie Anne’s copycat recipe
The mini chicken pot pies are awesome!
I could name a ton!! I also do a Tuesday Cook Off on my blog that features pinterest recipes!


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