Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Meal Plan

Way back at the beginning of the year I wrote some non-resolutions , with the first being to be on top of things. It's going well so far...I haven't missed any of those pesky teacher-work days, nor have I forgotten to sign and send in any permission slips.

One of the ways I am achieving my goal is having a bi-weekly meal plan. I sort of got the idea from Nicole, who is crazy and does an entire month at a time. (Ha! Just wait until her kids start developing weird eating habits or sign up for sports, then we'll see if she can still stick to a whole month pre-planned.) Then I put my own spin on it. Plan out the meals for 2 weeks, and do all the shopping at once.
Of course I do have to pop into the store to replentish milk and veggies and the occasional forgotten item, but I am not going to Kroger 5 times a week anymore! Therefore, I am saving my family money by taking unnecessary trips into the palace of delicious things.
Having the list written out and posted on the fridge also eliminates the constant questioning about what we are having for dinner. If you want to know, get up and see for yourself.

Also, the stress? Gone! I already know what's for dinner, so I don't need to try and figure it out at 5:30 each night. Far and away the best part of the whole deal!

And! The meals are interchangeable! If I should happen to not feel like cooking pot roast on Tuesday, I switch it with another days' meal. I already have the ingredients, so I'm covered. Helpful for nights when you notice that ham & pork loin are right next to each other. Whoopsie! (this might have happened this week.)

I forgot to build in a leftover day, always popular in these parts. You would think that I am scraping food out of the trash bin to feed them. I'm getting better at calculating proportions so we don't have as many leftovers, but some days are a total crapshoot. Some days Emma eats like a bird. Some days, like a horse. Hard to know which animal I'm going to get.

We are also eating better. I am buying less pre-prepared stuff and making things from scratch. Buying in bulk and then freezing stuff right away, like fruit and veggies. We drink a lot of smoothies and smoothie kits are expensive! So are veggies. And I never seem to have any in the house that aren't freezerburned beyond recognition.
Last week, we made homemade pizza from scratch. It wasn't the world's best za or anything, but Evan & I had a lot of fun kneading the dough, and cutting up all the ingredients. We know that next time we need to roll it thinner, use more sauce and double the cheese! We made it though, and that counts for something.


Nicole said...

You are so right - it it doubtful I will be able to do a month at a time forever :) Gotta love interchangeable meals too! We were going to have chicken noodle soup tonight but I made it Monday instead because I was sick. I've had plenty of F-it nights too where we just get carry out.

I'm so happy it is working for you! Care to share some of your smoothie recipes / combinations?

Jen on the Edge said...

Awesome! I love what you're doing.

I only plan a week at a time, so I'm in awe that you can think so far in advance.

Julie L said...

ohh-- I love meal plans... once upon I used to be right on top of them and they were all written down. Now sometimes I have them in my head. I do need to get back into them though because they sure do make life a whole lot easier.

So now you've got to share what's on yours so I can get some ideas :)