Wednesday, January 28

Confused Housewife: Meal Planning

Welcome to my new series: Confused Housewife!
Because I am a housewife and usually confused.

One of the things that I am most confused about is meal planning.

For example: why can I not just order a pizza every night and pretend I made it?
Also: Why am I gaining weight from all the pizzas I have ordered?

I really do try to prepare homemade meals every night. In the past, when work was unbelievably absurd and I was in a different town every 2 weeks, this was obviously not feasible. I had to slowly grow into this.

During our dating phase, we had a date night out most weeks and a sometimes bonus Chinese takeout night on Wednesdays. Over time, that was getting expensive and I could make the same things at home.

So here is what I have found on meal planning.

  1. Pinterest is your best friend. Now, I don't mean the Pinterest perfect lifestyle. I mean all of its free recipes! All recipes you can think of. Vegan, low carb, Paleo ... cowboy food. You can organize recipes to quickly look back for the week coming up. Here is my Pinterest recipe board.
  2. Leftovers are not that icky. I know some people who can't stand leftovers and that is okay. But R & I will eat leftovers for lunch the next day. And probably the next day after that. And it saves money for two or more meals! 
  3. Plan for short time intervals. It is difficult to start meal planning for a month at a time. I get it. Start with 3 meals. Then 5 meals. Then a week. I have tried to plan for 2 weeks at a time, but I just run out of ideas! Usually, I will plan for 7 meals at a time, but we will have so many leftovers that the meals flow into the next week. Keep track in a notebook, your day planner, or on your phone.
  4. Join a meal planning website. I loved this suggestion from my Facebook friends. There is a great one recommended by many & Dave Ramsey called eMeals. You can find it here
  5. Meal planning helps your grocery shopping trips. There is nothing that I hate more than grocery shopping! Truly. Now I write down everything I need for our meals for the week, throw in a couple snacks, and there is my entire shopping list! Every so often, I'll run back out for more milk or butter, but usually I can avoid shopping for another week.
  6. Mix it up. I am fortunate to have married someone who likes all kinds of food. That way, I can make a big salad, Chinese food, enchiladas, and soup all in one week! I try to have one vegetarian meal and one low carb meal every week. If you get stuck in a rut, here are my favorite recipe blogs: Pioneer Woman, Gimme Some Oven, Table for Two, Cooking Classy.
Thanks for all of the tips on Facebook! I hope this helped y'all and I'm always open for new ideas. 

Happy cooking, friends.

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