Sunday, October 13, 2013

Do you meal-plan?

Every wife/mother/eat-at-home-adult has their go-to meals. But when it is 5:00pm (or worse, 7:15pm, when I usually get home from work) and you haven't even thought about dinner, most likely it's not going to turn out very pretty. And 9 times out of 10 will probably just get take-out, which is usually not budget or diet-friendly, is it now? 

Do you plan out your meals each week? We started doing it this summer, and boy, has it helped immensely! I'll be honest, I resisted the meal-plan. I really did. I felt like it was way too "mother-of-the-year/martha-stewart." I thought it was going to drive me insane, and make me feel like a slave to grocery shopping and cooking. But, it's actually had the reverse effect! My grocery lists are more accurate, and I go to the store once a week, rather than a couple times each week, because I no longer forget to buy stuff the first time around. 

When I finally caved in to the meal-plan, I asked Kit to sit down with me and tell me what he would like to have each week. We came up with "theme-nights" more or less, to help us. Here's what's posted on our fridge:

TUESDAY: Mexican, a.k.a. "Taco Tuesday" (tacos, burritos, enchiladas)
WEDNESDAY: Asian (stir-fry or ginger-sesame chicken over rice)
THURSDAY: Left-overs
FRIDAY: Take-Out
SATURDAY: Crock-pot (chili, beef stew, shoyu chicken)
SUNDAY: Italian (spaghetti, pesto, alfredo)

Under each meal, I list which ingredients we will need to have in our fridge and pantry to make these meals happen, which is what makes my shopping list so much more efficient. 

We've actually already revised the meal plan once since summer time, since my schedule is way different in the summer versus the school year. Thursday and Friday are busier days for me at work, so those are the best days to have leftovers and take-out and not have to worry about cooking. I'll be honest, I've gotten a little bored some weeks eating the same thing, but it's way easier to throw some variety into an existing meal structure, than it is to just dream up an entire meal every night, on the spot.  

Though it probably works well for some, I think the idea that women around the world were planning their meals on the following apparatus' was overwhelming me from even getting started on meal-planning:

As you can see, my meal plan is on simple To-Do list paper written with a basic ball-point pen. I like it that way. It works for me. Maybe one day I'll graduate to DIY frames, clothespins or binders.

If you're nervous to get started, I encourage you to just give in and try it out! I'm so glad we did.


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