Meal Planning {Sorta}

The BOY mentioned that he’d like to keep more meal options at home so that he could eat out less.  For me, this is easy since I’m usually the one doing the grocery shopping.  I take a list, but don’t stick with what is written on it, and end up with enough options to feed a family of 4 for the week.  So the last few weekends, I have been taking the BOY with me to the grocery store to pick out food for the week.

 

On Sunday afternoon, we hit up Mariano’s for lunch and groceries.  The place was PACKED, which is the negative of going on the weekend, but having the BOY was really helpful.  Heading in, we had decided that I would make Mac n Cheese for dinner on Monday and I had found a soup recipe I wanted to make for lunch during the week.  We had no plans beyond that.

 

The BOY recommended picking up some Portobello mushrooms to have one night and also mentioned turkey tacos.  At which point, we started planning out dinners for the week.  I could use half the turkey for my soup and then we’d have half for tacos.  It was the first stages of meal planning, and I was impressed. Hey…we are taking baby steps here!  When we left the store, we had plenty of fresh produce and healthy food options and the bill was under $60.

 

We didn’t decide exactly what we were going to eat each night, but Monday night was Mac n Cheese since I would have the time to make it.  Then we could have some simpler meals for later in the week.  So although I’m not to a place where I can map out my meals and shopping list for you (and I may never be), it’s good to be taking steps towards a healthier life and better budget.

 

Benefits of meal planning…

For ME-sticking to my food budget

For the BOY-eating more healthy meals at home

 

It’s a total win!  I’ve got recipes for Turkey Meatball and Barley Soup and Mac n Cheese coming your way!

 

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Do you plan out your meals each week?

Any tips for a newbie?

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13 thoughts on “Meal Planning {Sorta}

  1. Looks like you guys are on your way to becoming meal planning gurus!
    We don’t meal plan, but we generally have a well-stocked fridge and pantry to make healthy meals on short notice. We do try to make extra so the hubby can take leftovers for lunch!

    • I’m happy with our first steps. I live on leftovers but my boyfriend isn’t good about taking them for lunch. Some nights I get home from work so late (8pm!) that making dinner isn’t an option so I loved the idea of quick and easy meals that he can start. We’ll see how it goes : )

  2. The most planning I do is making sure I have enough meat for meals through out the week. I always do eggs and a banana for breakfast and normally get 18 just for in case. Then I decide soup / salad or both for lunch and make a big batch, or some slow cooker deal. Then dinners I mix up protein and veggies that I bought for the salad and soup! I also buy by what is on sale so that every week my cart is different! Go you on $60! That is awesome!

  3. I used to always plan my meals but I’ve become a little lazy the past year or so. I’m trying to get back into the swing of meal planning again. The great thing planning your meals is that you plan first then it’s easy to write up your grocery list at the same time and knowing exactly what you will need or already have is always a great bonus which saves money.

    I always find that we eat healthier when we meal plan. Before, I wouldn’t shop on a planned day of the week and we’d either end up eating whatever freezer food was left in after all the fresh food had disappeared. Or [worse] getting take outs.

    I also love looking through the food magazines that I’m subscribed to as they always have seasonal specials in which allows me to budget and try out new recipes. That’s the great thing about budgeting and being prepared. Good luck.

    • Thank you so much for the comment. I love the food mags too and didn’t even think about letting seasonal produce drive my meals. We had the tacos tonight and it worked out awesome. I need to get better with the planning. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  4. We NEED to start doing this. I think getting on a meal planning schedule might go on my bucket list this year because dealing with it at 7:00 after a long day usually results in eating out.

  5. Ok I’m so behind…sorry, work is crazy busy right now.
    Meal planning, I loosely plan our meals. I always try to keep potatoes (all kinds) on hand because they’re easy and keep well. Same for onions, garlic, eggs, canned beans, rice, pantry staples. I’m pretty much ready to feed at a small army at all times.
    Weekly, I pick up our produce and try to restrain myself to two veggies and then I work meals around them. For example, I grabbed asparagus and then decided to roast them and serve them with roasted potatoes and fried eggs. Easy peasy. I save weekends for more complex and time consuming meals.

    • Thanks for the comment. I love the idea of working my meal around the fresh produce. My biggest problem is that I shop at a few different stores and then tend to pick things up here and there. I hope your work life slows down so that you can enjoy the holiday week!

  6. We’ve been trying to meal plan more, but with our local food co-op five blocks away, we usually end up picking up dinner ingredients a few nights a week. Which is a {delicious} pain because it always ends up more expensive and we don’t eat dinner until 8:30p or 9p 🙂

    • That is so nice! I am sad not to have a year round farmer’s market or CSA. I sometimes walk in the door at 8:30 so there is no time to shop for food during the week. That’s why I get everything done on Mondays!

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