Remember when we bought a house and were renovating the kitchen…yea it’s still not done, but at least the fridge is decorated and we’re able to use the kitchen.
Meal planning has been a huge help to us since we moved in – it helps us save money, save gas (1 trip a week to the store), and answer the “What’s for dinner?” question! We have successfully meal-planned for each week of 2014 and we’re not stopping any time soon! Here is a sneak peek in to our process each weekend:
We create a meal plan and post it on the fridge each week! This helps if either of us are out of the house and the other wants to start prepping dinner.
This week, I knew I wanted to make a big pot of chili and cornbread on Sunday which would help us with leftovers during the week. I first made a giant pot of black beans (from dry beans) with soaked beans, garlic, bay leaves, and epazote. I used this in the chili and saved some because it’s Mardi Gras on Tuesday and we want to celebrate with festive food (blackened fish with rice and beans).
We typically do one pasta night and at least one fish night which greatly eases the process of choosing meals. After the meals are chosen, I make a list of all the ingredients that we need to purchase as well as other staples for breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc. Please forgive my handwriting!
Side note: I never remember meeting an adult with poor handwriting while growing up and now, at 29 years old, I fear I may be the only “adult” with really awful pen(wo)manship!
I try to keep all my grocery shops under 100 dollars for the week. Meal planning, and keeping a stocked pantry/freezer, really helps with this goal!
Here are some of the fun, and zero-stress, weeknight meals we have made thanks to proper meal planning:
Parmesan Spinach Quinoa and Grapefruit Avocado Salad
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Pizza and Calzones (with homemade dough)
Southwestern Stuffed Peppers
Pressed Sandwiches with Sweet Potato “Fries”
It feels almost luxurious to have cohesive, delicious meals on a weeknight, but it’s totally possible if you meal plan! We are definitely big believers in this house!