I’m writing to you from a cozy leather chair in this fancy house I babysit for. I like to do little side jobs to earn money for random things I want. Tonight I’m working for this black jumpsuit I want to get for our anniversary trip to New York City. Hehe. The kiddos are in bed, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to write about meal planning.
I remember as a little girl watching my mom meal plan on a piece of lined notebook paper. I’d put in my requests for certain ice cream flavors or more apple juice. I’d always look forward to finding out what meals we’d be having in the upcoming week. Clam sauce, minestrone, and baked ziti were among my favorites. I had quite refined tastebuds for an 8 year old.
Now I’m all grown up, and meal planning just like my momma. On the couch. With a lined piece of notebook paper. 🙂
Why meal plan?
Well, there’s a few reasons.
1. It saves time. I know so many people who scramble after work trying to figure out what’s for dinner. So, they run to the grocery store last minute and throw together a meal when they get home. Then, the next day they repeat the whole process all over again. Hectic and unnecessary.
2. It saves money. If your buying ingredients as you go throughout your week, you will easily go over budget. Planning out your meals for the upcoming week allows you to keep your grocery list down to what you need and can afford.
3. You’ll eat healthier. Probably about 9 times out of 10, if you don’t plan what you’re having for dinner in advance, you’ll probably end up getting fast food somewhere. Meal planning allows you to create a balanced menu for the week. Instead of impulsively buying potato chips on your way out of the grocery store, you can plan to purchase healthy snack items like fresh fruit and nuts.
Allow me to explain how I personally mealplan for my husband and I. First, I write on one side of a piece of paper a grocery list. This list contains items we are out of stock or running low on. On the flip side of the paper, I write each day of the week. I plan my meals according to what works best for our lifestyle. I pull out the recipes for those meals and add the needed ingredients to the grocery list. Then, I post the meal plan on the fridge so my hubby can see what’s for dinner. He likes that. 🙂
Here’s what’s for dinner this week:
Monday: Frozen organic pizza with a salad (We have pizza every Monday, because…Monday.)
Tuesday: Fettuccine Alfredo (homemade, the Olive Garden recipe)
Wednesday: Leftover Alfredo
Thursday: Turkey Chili
Friday: Leftover Chili
Saturday: Date night
Sunday: Grill out at my parents’ house
Notice the flow of my meal plan. Monday-easy. Tuesday-cook. Wednesday-I get a break. Thursday-cook. Friday- I get a break, because I can never bring myself to cook on a Friday night haha. If you are cooking for two, I highly recommend following a similar pattern. I came up with this right when I got married, and it has worked out so well. We are eating a home cooked, healthy meal every night. But I don’t cook every night. Did you get that? I don’t cook every night! That is the beauty of meal planning!
Cook a big meal one night, eat it again the next.
It’s that simple.
I really hope you’re feeling inspired to get your meal planning game on!
P.s. I also plan what to pack me and my husband for lunch. No getting unhealthy food at work or wasting money on food we don’t even like!