Psssst….originally this was 1 post, but it was way too many words to make you guys read in 1 single sitting, so it’s broken into 2 parts- Meal Planning & Meal Prepping. This is Part 1 & Part 2 will be here next Tuesday! So be sure to come back.
In the past few weeks, we’ve switched things up a bit in an effort to eat at home more. Firstly, eating out makes us fat. Secondly, eating out makes us broke. Those alone are two excellent reasons to eat out less that I think all of us can agree on.
Just in case anyone else happens to be in the same boat, I thought I’d share!
Since it’s just the two of us for now, eating out is soooo easy. It usually seems like the best option when I’m getting home after 6:30 & do not feel like spending an hour in the kitchen. I don’t like eating that late then cleaning up the mess after. I feel like I spent the whole night in the kitchen sometimes. So nights when I do get home that late or later from work, I tend to pick something up on the way home or we go get something quick right after. Either way, we we’re eating out more nights of the week than we weren’t.
So, here’s exactly what I’ve been doing in an effort to eat more home-cooked meals.
I know this is an obvious one & probably pointless to even share! But, seriously this is the first step. If you don’t meal plan, then eating out becomes even easier. For me personally, this is not hard. I love making menus up & keeping a rotating variety of meals we love. I know a lot of folks dread this process though, so here are a few…Suggestions for meal planning.
Keep a binder of your families favorite recipes. I have a huge binder with tabs & plastic sheet covers I use to store all the recipes I refer to regularly. If you can find tabbed dividers that have pockets, extra points. I store recipes I know we love in the plastic sheets behind the appropriate tab, & ones we haven’t tried yet go in the pocket of that divider. If we like it, I’ll add it into a plastic sheet behind the tab. This also saves time when I’m trying to find a recipe & can’t remember which cookbook it’s in etc.
Take a couple of hours to go through your cookbooks & make copies of your favorite recipes. Then, go through your Pinterest boards & print anything you make often or want to make. This is the best way to store loose recipes from magazines, recipe cards, copies from friends, etc.
There are countless ways to set up your meal planning. Some people do a week at a time, some do two, some will even plan out an entire month at a time. This makes writing out your grocery list so simple & hopefully keeps you from making multiple trips throughout the week.
From there you can sets up themes if you want. One popular method is assigning each day a category, ie- Mondays are for soups/salads/sandwiches, Tuesdays are Mexican, Wednesdays are for grilling, Thursdays are for leftovers, Fridays are for eating out, Saturdays are for Italian & Sundays are for casseroles. That’s just an example, you can pick whatever categories cater to your family. You can set up themes that last 14 days if you feel like you’re eating from the same category too often. More ideas are breakfast for dinner, crockpot meals, one pot meals, Asian, Cajun, pizza night, roasts, meatless meals, seafood, burgers, kid’s choice, try something new night, etc.
My mom’s always used meats at her themes, ie- Mondays are for beef, Tuesdays are for chicken, Wednesdays are for seafood, Thursdays are for pork, Fridays are for turkey, etc. I try to somewhat stick to that, never having chicken 2 nights in a row & having beef, pork & turkey at least once a week.
The point is to find a method that works for your family & stick to it!
Now share you meal planning tips with me!
Be sure to check back next Tuesday for part 2- Meal Prepping! Not the kind where you eat lots of healthy foods out of tupperware containers either!