Monday, May 19, 2014
I love The Willing Cook's case for meal planning here. I personally am huge into meal planning. Some days I wish I wasn't, but I'm always glad when I do. Having a meal plan makes it so that I can shop once a week (or twice if I get stuff from more than one store). It also makes it so I always know what I am having and am not tempted to go out or eat something that I shouldn't. Ok, maybe I always love going out, but since it isn't in the budget that often, I like knowing what we are having. Sometimes I schedule just a week in advance. Sometimes I plan a month in advance. This is always nice because I get it out of the way in one big foul swoop. I look at my calendar when I menu plan, so that if I have a busy morning I am not doing a crock pot, or if I have a busy evening maybe I am. If we have a doctor's appointment late in the afternoon, I might do BLT's or keep it super simple. Being able to menu plan and know what we are having really helps me not get stressed about dinner.
I usually sit down with a week planner, my favorite recipes, and some new recipes I want to try. I figure out what we have on hand and need to use up. Then I usually do two to three new recipes a week to keep life interesting, and then do the rest of the meals with familiar recipes. I write down what we are having and then write down the ingredients I need to buy.
When I first started out eating allergy-friendly I felt like I always had no idea what to eat. Menu planning every meal really helped take that pressure off. Knowing what I have on hand to eat, makes everything easier. Now that it is "normal" to me, I don't have to menu plan for breakfast and lunch and just know to have certain things on hand (and I eat a lot of leftovers). However, if I know what meat to take out when, dinners are a cinch. Not only does it make my week go way more smoothly, it saves me a lot of money not going to the store for impulse buys. It took awhile to get used to, but now I really thrive with menu planning. How about you?
Here is a great printable if you are thinking about starting!