Hear me out though, there are valid reasons for this:
- I get to use all of my planning skills to work within a budget, capitalize on ingredients that we already have and throw in a little creativity because we're trying new recipe items that we haven't tried before
- It involves cutting coupons to get the best deals on the groceries that make the meal
- Eating in is better on the budget than eating out (and trust me - we've tried the other way giving it a full run for the money!)
- I have to care about nutrition or I'll end up right back where I started a few years ago
- Nothing brings me a bigger sense of calm, especially after an insane day at work, to come home and know that our meals are planned - all ingredients are accounted for and on average, I know how much time it's going to take to whip up dinner. Not I said planned, not pre-made or "easy out of bag". We owe ourselves that 30-40 minutes to make a good dinner, right? Lord knows, I give at least 30 minutes of my day to someone else every single day... I should be willing to do the same for myself and our family!
Here's how I go about making our meal plan.
- I take 2 week chunks and list out all evening activities (It's looking like our current menu will last us 3 weeks, hence the 3.0 post title). Lately, there have been a ton of late nights with our work and school schedules. I make special note of those nights that we need leftovers or something easy.
- I make a list of all protein based items we have in the house (checking the deep freeze is important)
- I make a list of items we have that are going to expire or go bad in the next couple of weeks.
- I look for recipes using the protein as the main ingredient. I try to keep in mind what we have on hand and what items we'd need to buy.
- I pull together a list of 20-24 possible recipes.
- Then I consult the cupboards to see what we have and what we don't. This narrows the idea list down by about 4 or 5 each week. My rule of thumb is that if I need more than 4 ingredients (assuming our cupboards are relatively full) then we don't do that recipe.
- Run ideas by Ryan (this usually narrows down the list by at least another 5!)
- Finally, I consult the coupon organizer to find out what has good deals and how to make our meal plan budget/waistline conscious.
- Make a sub-menu for lunch and breakfast items to round out my grocery shopping list. Again, consulting coupons and considering leftovers.
|Taking a big leap of faith putting my hyper organized life out there... anyone else function like this? I'm lucky that the person I married does, so all is good in our hood ; ) However organized I am - I still procrastinate with the best of them.|
Recipes to post that we made this past week:
- Deconstructed Lasagna
- Turkey Meatloaf
- Chicken and cheese quesadilla
- Chicken Stir fry
- Pot Roast
- Breaded pork cutlets with asparagus
- Smothered Cheese burgers
- Beef and Cabbage Stew
- Garlic Roast Pork with Sauteed Peppers
- Cuban Sandwiches
- Fettuccine with beef and mushroom ragu
- Tuna Melts
- Low Fat Chicken Enchiladas
- Grilled Chicken and Delicate Mustard Herb Sauce (the word delicate almost made me skip this recipe - I thought it sounded ridiculous!)
- BBQ Pork Sandwiches
- Sweet and Salty Pork Stir Fry
- Curried Chicken and Cauliflower Soup
- Soup with whole wheat rolls