Welcome back to our third week of Meal Plan Monday! Isn’t this month just flying by! Supper times have been later and later as the sun is staying up longer each day. The kids will come in for a quick supper then run back outside to play until bedtime. This time of year is so busy and so much fun!
This week for Meal Plan Monday I had invited a new friend of mine, Misty, to give us some ideas for supper. However, some unplanned things came up and she just wasn’t able to do that this week. Feel free to find her on Instagram (@misty.stuker) for some motivation in health and fitness. You can also connect with her at Stukerfitness.com. But for today, you will have to settle for me. I thought today I would just give a quick run down of how I meal plan.
My process is so basic it may bore you. But if you are anything like I was a year or so ago maybe you are feeling overwhelmed with the thought of meal planning. Maybe super simple is just what you need. I know that’s what I need.
I live in the land of no coupons, so I am going to completely skip that step that you most often see in meal planning posts. The very first thing I do is make a list of 5-10 suppers that I plan on having that month. I have lists in my binder of meals: chicken, beef, slow cooker. Chicken and beef are the typical meats that we eat with the occasional caribou or reindeer. So I go through my lists and choose my meals. Don’t make a list of 30 suppers. You will go way over budget. Also don’t get all your supper ideas from pinterest. You will go way over budget. Choose 5-10 meals that you will make 2-3x that month.
Once I have my list of meals I make a list of ingredients for each meal. Check your cabinets, see what you need. You don’t want to be going out to the grocery store an hour before supper because you didn’t realize you don’t have bbq sauce. Use that ingredient list to make your grocery list. Write down what you need AND how much you need of it. Guaranteed you will get to the store and forget which suppers needed what and you will not get the right amount of meat or noodles, or whatever it is. Write down how much you need of each ingredient.
Okay, are you feeling exhausted from all this meal planning yet? One last step! Now write down in your calendar what you will eat on what day. I used to skip this step because I didn’t know what I would be in the mood for on what day. But then I would forget what suppers I had planned and I would end up using the ingredients for other recipes. I wouldn’t have all of the ingredients I needed for these new suppers and ended up back at the grocery store. So write down what day you plan on eating these suppers. Then when the days come you can switch around the suppers if you really want to.
When planning what days we will eat things I always put things with fresh produce like tacos in the beginning of the month. That way I don’t have to worry about the lettuce staying fresh all month. I always plan easy things like chili, spaghetti, or a slow cooker meal on a Sunday so I don’t spend too much time cooking in the afternoon between church services.
Speaking of chili and spaghetti, these meals are on my menu every month. Why? They go far and freeze well. As soon as I get home from the grocery store I cook a huge pot of chili and a pot of spaghetti meat sauce. Once they cool I divide them into meal sized portions and freeze them in ziploc bags. When I do this I cook 2 chili suppers and 5 spaghetti suppers in one hour. Those are the meals that are great to grab on the evenings that are going crazy.
How do you meal plan? I know I have talked to several of you before and it seems every one has their own system. Share your system here, it may be a help to another busy woman!