Monday, August 24, 2009

Meal Planning

Well hello again! I'm glad you came back for another visit (or your first!) because what we're talking about today is new to me and maybe it's new to you too! Some of my coworkers do it and swear by it so I'm willing to give it a try.

Meal planning is never something I have done well. When I make a trip to the grocery store, I typically have a small list, either on paper or in my head, and then just grab things that sound good and try to make meals out of them later in the week. What ends up happening is I thaw some meat from the freezer, then decide what to make with it while I'm at work, don't know if I have the right ingredients so I stop at the store on my way home and pick them up, then repeat the whole process the next day. Inevitably I end up at the grocery store 3-4 times each week, sometimes even more. I also tend to end up with more than I went in for each trip and my grocery bill really starts to add up. Does this sound like you?

Frankly, I'm tired of it (and I'm sure you are too!) so let's do something about it! I'm making myself a promise to try meal planning for at least one month. This means I'll pre-plan what we are going to eat for dinner each week, buy only what I need, and stick to it! I'm going to track it on a calendar (one week at a time) and try to get a variety of meals each month and then when I'm stumped later on, I can look back at past months and see what sounds good. Another goal in my meal planning: one trip to the grocery store per week. A second trip can be made if there's an absolute necessity but I'm hoping to get more time at home cooking and a lower grocery bill each week through this process!

So, what's on this week's menu?? I've even gotten a little creative...

Monday: Homemade Gourmet (HG) Tex Mex Skillet Meal (first time having this!)
Tuesday: HG Cheesy Tortilla Chicken Pasta (haven't had this in almost a year but it's amazing!)
Wednesday: Sauerbraten (first time making this German treat...surely there will be a post about it later this week so be sure to check back!)
Thursday: We're eating out!
Friday: We're eating leftovers!

I think this is a pretty easy way to start my first week of meal planning. Thursday was previously decided on so I'll stick with it. ;) Weekends are "anything goes" at our house. Never know if we'll stay in or go out on Saturdays and Sundays are usually family night at my mom's so I think I'll exclude those days from the plan for now.

Let's see how it goes...I'm hoping I have just discovered an answer to my grocery store grumbles. :)

Do you meal plan? If so, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Good luck with this, I am a terrible meal planner. At best, I'll plan one meal, buy all the ingredients, make that one meal and then whatever was leftover from the ingredients will go bad in my fridge.

    I think that's one of the biggest challenges of meal planning - making sure that if you buy a perishable food item, it all gets used before it goes bad but yet still keeping your meals varied.

    Also, take pictures of the Sauerbraten if you make it to go along with your post!

  2. I used to meal plan, when Brady was home more often. Now that school started back up and he has a full load of flight students, plus night classes of his own, I hardly see him.

    Anyway....found this great site for us non-meal planners out there to just take the food in your pantry and make a meal!