Hiii (*waves nervously*) Let’s kick this off with the confession that I am not a foodie or a chef or a professional meal planner. I’m a newbie who still let’s the milk go bad and forgets to use the bananas before they’re squishy and grey.
Alright. Now that my credentials are out of the way…
*In between starting this post and finish it I went through our pasta cabinet and threw out so much expired food. Pasta, graham crackers, panko breading. Not a few months expired… years. Please note: All of that was purchase pre-meal planning. #oops
Toward the end of last year I started meal planning for our family of two. At the start of 2017 I made the lax resolution to meal plan every week. Surprisingly, I’m actually carrying this out with moderate success. A fellow blogger (Carolann, I think?) suggested I talk about my methods. So I thought, ‘Sure! Why not?!’
To be frank, I’m not even 100% sure I do this right. Critique me if you feel so inclined. I have thick skin; I can handle it.
Pick three meals for the week.
Three?? But Audrey! Surely you’ll starve!
Fear not, my friends. We utilize the luxury of takeout and/or dining out at least once a week. (*cough*still working on budgeting*cough*)
Honestly, though. On Fridays we’re usually out with my parents and on Sundays we typically have dinner at my grandparents. Mix in one night of take out and fill that fourth night with leftovers and we’ve got three days left for home cooked meals.
… perhaps I’m not so qualified to write this post.
Stick with me, friends. Pick three meals from anywhere. I usually search Pinterest. Sometimes it’s not a recipe meal- sometimes it’s just burgers and veggies on the grill. It doesn’t matter… it still counts.
Ok. Got your three meals? I’m going to play along here and pick three, too.
- One Pan Sausage & Veggies (+ egg noddles with butter #healthy)
- Chicken Fajita Pasta (so good!! if this isn’t one of your 3 you should change that)
- Steak & veggies on the grill (+ mashed red potatoes left over from meal #1)
Make a grocery list with the ingredients you don’t have.
Now double check your kitchen for the ingredients you might actually have, but you put on the list anyway because you weren’t sure and you were too lazy to go look in the cabinet to check. (Oh. Just me? ) Cross those ones off.
Go grocery shopping. I prefer Sunday afternoons because for some reason it’s a ghost town at the market but everything is all stocked for the week.
Obviously if there’s an afternoon NASCAR race this gets bumped to Monday night (which becomes the takeout night).
Prep stuff if you feel so inclined.
Often I do not.
This is a good time to figure out WHEN you’re eating your meals. I don’t like to keep asparagus or steak too long so we’ll have those on Monday or Tuesday. If we don’t plan to make something until the weekend or we get busy and have to skip a meal I throw the appropriate meat in the freezer.
Boom Bang Ba-Da-Done.
Some amateur tips:
- if you never go out to eat plan for four nights
- if you have a super busy week aim for two nights and make enough for leftovers
- this doesn’t include lunch… and if you eat leftovers for lunch, go with 4 meals
- make that Chicken Fajita Pasta… you won’t regret it
Was that even helpful…? Hahaha. Honestly, I never meal planned before this year but now that I do it’s pretty easy to stick with. This is probably a good gateway to meal prepping, too, but I don’t wanna demand too much of myself…
So tell me… do you meal plan? If so, what am I doing wrong? 🙂 If you don’t plan does this make you want to…?