Two Teens And Their Mama: Nuggets For The New Year: Meal Planning

Monday, February 6, 2017

Nuggets For The New Year: Meal Planning


I often dream about having a personal chef.  In my perfect world, I wouldn't have to grocery shop or cook, and every night a delicious, healthy dinner would magically appear on my table.  In this dream I also look like Gisele, but whatever.  Although my husband is a great chef, his schedule keeps him from making meals most week nights. Alas, that means it's up to me Monday through Friday.

In the past, I didn't plan ahead, which meant most evenings I was scrambling around, trying to figure out what to do with whatever happened to be in my fridge.  And nobody was very happy with what I came up with, including me. One day last fall I decided that weekly meal planning would make life a lot easier.


This is what my husband makes on the weekends.  Or what my imaginary chef would create.  My meals do not look like this.

Every Sunday I sit down with my calendar and my recipes, and I decide what we'll have that week.  I usually do a few weeks at a time, then tweak it each Sunday as the schedule fills up.  I have a huge binder with family favorites, and recipes that I print from the internet when I see something that looks good.  


Recently I discovered emeals.com.  This website allows you to choose your meal plan (clean eating, paleo, kid friendly, classic, etc), and then provides a week's worth of recipes. Since my husband is eating low carb, this has helped me find dozens of new dinners. The only drawback is that they charge $29.99 a month.

Each week we have one "salad" night and one "crock pot" night.  The crock pot is my best friend, next to my actual best friends.  I usually also choose one chicken recipe and one with beef.  (As a side note, every year we buy a side of beef from our farmer friends, and I highly recommend it.  We know that the meat is hormone and chemical free, and it usually works out to about $1.50/pound, which is so much cheaper than the grocery store.  You can contact your local 4H to find out who sells beef in your area).  Fridays are for leftovers, if they're not already gone, since I live in a house of men.

After I finalize the meals, I start a grocery list with everything I don't have on hand.  There are tons of grocery list printables online, but I like this one from Time Warp Wife because it's simple.



And that's it.  Not exciting, not gourmet, but it works for us.  At least until that personal chef gets here.

Now, hop on over to R Squared to see what Christy's meal planning looks like!

37 comments:

  1. I need to get better using the crockpot, it can be such a life saver

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  2. It is exciting, though! We're awful with meal planning. It nearly makes me cry! I'll have to check out everything you mentioned.

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    1. But you make such yummy things! I always get hungry reading your blog.

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  3. Yes! I have 4 crock pots and they make me so happy, lol!! Hope your week is starting great!

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  4. I've heard of emeals before and have thought to give it a try. Maybe when cheerleading season is over and I actually have time to cook!

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    1. I like them but they're kind of expensive. Lots of good recipes though!

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  5. That's expensive for a meal plan. I'd just swap a meal plan with one of your readers. Share ideas for free.

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    1. I do that too with friends - but I like the idea of a recipe swap!

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  6. For some reason I thought that site was free, but it is good to know there is a fee. I have been trying to make healthier meals and even a couple of meat frees meals each week. I also want to check out the grocery store pick up, because if I can save time not browsing the aisles that'd be awesome. I am not sure how much it costs, tho. My husband is a great cook, too, but time makes it hard so I don't get a lot of meals from him. That meal from your husband looks YUMMY!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. My husband makes all the good stuff! Mine is pretty basic.

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  7. I'm right there with you Lana I dream about having a personal chef, making me healthy creative food, I always imagine they will have a spunky personality, and we will become incredible friends while continuing to cook for me ;). Your meal planning habits are impressive! I'm going to adopt this.

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    1. Haha - love it! I want my chef to be spunky too!

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  8. Yes to the crockpot, I need to utilize it more though! I love seeing what everyone does.

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    1. I'm curious about your pressure cooker thingy.

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  9. as if you don't have a personal chef...no props given to that hubby :)

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    1. I know, I know. But he refused to cook for me during the week :)!

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  10. Even though I'm home and should be able to get healthy meals on the table, I love my crockpot. I go to the gym with the kids in the late afternoons and come home to dinner! May have to check out that site!

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    1. Coming home to a yummy smelling crock pot meal is the best!

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  11. I love my crockpot too! I use it often - love that shopping list!

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  12. The picture of that meal does look wonderful! Meal planning is important and economical. We have bought a lamb before and our neighbor gives us antelope but we are going to buy a 1/2 of beef too. I want a fish CSA!

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    Replies
    1. We've definitely saved money on groceries by meal planning.

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  13. I'm such a happier mama and chef when I meal plan and take a list with me to the grocery store.

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  14. I couldn't live without my crockpot! I like the concept of that meal planning site! Will have to check it out!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  15. I use my crockpot year round. Especially on the weekend when we are gone all day and want to come home to a good meal.

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  16. That's too much planning for me. LOL

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    1. Haha - you made me laugh. And you have a good point!

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  17. I do something similar. I do my grocery shopping on Sundays so it helps me get my week planned. I usually know what I'm fixing for the week but decide on a day to day basis, but I generally decide the night before.

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    1. I hate going grocery shopping on the weekends because it's so busy - actually, I hate grocery shopping any time!

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  18. How did people cook before crock pots? I use mine all of the time. We have a leftover night, too...Thursday. And while most of my meals are less than gourmet, they are usually healthy. I sit down with my new recipes for the coming weeks (I shop one big time a month)and the old standbys in mind to complete my grocery list. Seems that we do much the same things. Except PC never ever ever cooks...unless we got to McDonald's, then he says he's cooking.

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    1. Haha! What would we all do without our crock pots?

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  19. Lana, I have been working on planning my meals better too... this week I have already used my crock pot once and I am sure I will be using it again, I love how simple it is. I am pretty grateful that I can use it so much now that I am working from home... I too have a large salad once per week...

    We don't eat a great deal of meat, usually twice a week... working from home has made it so much easier but I still need to get more organized so that I waste less money on food xox

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