Thursday, January 16, 2014

What’s for dinner? Meal Planning!

I don’t know about you, but around here we tend to have the same meals over and over. I hate the rut. Then there is always the evening “debate.” What do you want for dinner? I don’t know, what do you want for dinner? We could have X, Y, or Z. None of those sound good. Well the children are about to loose their minds we really need to decide. Next thing you know it is either phone for a pizza or make PBJ sandwiches. Ugh I so hated that conversation every stinking night.

It isn’t that I don’t have time to cook…. I just don’t like doing it. In fact I kind of stuck at it. Bake I can, cook, I burn. Now hubby being the better cook sadly has long and varied hours at work. So this year I decided since I was tired of the nightly “debate” I would take matters into my own hands and start meal planning. *GASP* Yup, I would suck it up and learn to cook, not from boxes but COOK.

I got a calendar, I came up with ideas, and I went shopping. I looked for dinner ideas that used common ingredients (to cut down on costs), that even I could pull off and that I could freeze. Why? Well because why cook the same meal twice!! If I had to cook in order to restore calm, then as bad as I was at it, I wanted to do it as little as possible!! That’s right, I started with things I (or hubby on the weekends) could make double batches of and freeze. This way we had meals for a few weeks at a time.

We don’t always stick to the posted list. When the oldest country kid and I were out of town one Saturday, hubby decided to take the littlest country kid out for Indian food. So the enchiladas that were on the schedule got moved to the next day and well that day’s item just got bumped to the first open day on the calendar. So it isn’t written in stone, but it makes me feel better to know where I am headed each day and I actually look forward to dinner times again.

Now don’t get me wrong, the oldest country kid still complains “I don’t like that.” But at least with our new system he can see a week ahead that supper sucks, he can complain about it and get over it. I know what I have to get made (or pull from the freezer to reheat) and I smile! No more "what do you want for dinner" in our house. No more hungry children waiting for us to figure it out. And best of all I have learned I can make a pretty mean lasagna!!! Maybe there is hope for my cooking skills!!


30 comments:

  1. I've found that when I have a meal plan, I don't spend nearly as much on food. We don't pick up fast food or pizza, which greatly reduces our spending.

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  2. I agree, when I plan out our meals, I spend less. It is also way less stress. If we all kind of get the "I don't feel like that" thing going, then we just switch days, but we stick to the plan by the week.

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    1. We stick to the meals available, which is a 2-3 week thing.

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  3. See I have the opposite problem. I think I'm actually a pretty decent cook but LOUSY at baking. It's the whole precise measurements stuff. And the fact that I just don't know how to bake, clearly :p

    I really want to get into meal planning--I hate that on weekends I tend to spend a bit more money on takeout than I should because I just didn't plan accordingly. Thanks for this and have a great weekend!!!

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    1. Baking is not about precise measurements.... It is about getting it close LOL and relaxing while you do it. I swear love is what makes baked goods so good.

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  4. Oh my goodness, I hate the rut as well. I am currently in 'the rut' and I am having a hard time getting out of it!
    This is great though, I really need to start meal planning to save on groceries.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Kristy thanks for coming by. Hope you get out of your rut!

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  5. I'm with TaMara. If I don't have a plan we end up with pizza or burgers half the time. The chalk board would be great! Keepign it "public" for the family would (maybe) reduce begging for going out that I always cave in to.

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  6. You're my hero! I've wanted to do this too, but just have never prioritized it.
    Love the chicken header!
    I followed your link from Pixie Blog because I'm also a mom who got a late start.

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    1. Go to the dollar store and get a calendar..... once you write stuff down, well you HAVE to do it, right? LOL Thanks for saying you like my banner :)

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  7. Love my meal plan and it helps me get excited for what is for dinner that night. I think about it in the morning and then have something to look forward to...I know that I am not a teenager but I am picky about what I am in the mood for. I have made and frozen salsa sloppy joes, pulled chicken BBQ, taco meat and a few more. I love making something once and being able to throw something in the microwave on the days when things don't go as planned. It is a great savings but having a backup for that one night a week when no one can get up the energy to cook is always good. We have a few frozen options always at the top of my mind for emergencies. I plan one month at a time and it helps so that I am not making the same food week after week :) Wish you the best of luck in meal planning!!!

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  8. Alison I would so love to be able to get up to a month. Right now we are doing 2 weeks at a time. And while my oldest complains some nights, I am with you, it helps to know where your going!

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  9. I so hate the rut. I really need to start meal planning and sticking to it.

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    1. It is the sticking to i part that is hard for me. But since it is written in the open for all to see in the kitchen I am kind of, well, they know LOL

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  10. I agree - the "conversation" about what to eat can get old! Making the plan visible would definitely help. Thanks for sharing!
    Kim @ Curtain Queen Creates

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    1. It is all about the visability... I can't just say "oh forget it" because they all know! LOL

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  11. Like you, I hate the "What's for dinner" question. What you're describing sounds an awful lot like my ‘cook once eat twice’ method of cooking – such a saver! I also cook that way, for instance loading up my oven with as many meatloaves as it will hold, enjoying a meatloaf supper that night & using all those small random bags from other grocery items like carrots or tortillas I section out the rest in serving sizes, slip them into a large freezer bag, label & freeze. I hate plastic wrappings with a passion and since you just can’t get away from them with almost anything you buy, I really try to put them to several uses before they’re thrown away or recycled. I also found that suppertime is quicker if I pull out tomorrow's main dish from the freezer the night before & let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Anything to cut down my time in the kitchen! Thanks for sharing this post. (visiting From The Farm hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

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    1. I do enjoy making more then needed for those easy nights of pulling something out. So glad you stopped by from the hop :)

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  12. How about the sequence dinners... Night #1: make a meatloaf twice the size you need....Night #2 cut up chilled meatloaf into about 1+ inch cubes~ tada! Meatballs for the speghetti:)
    I can be so predictable - oh well tastes good.
    Smiles

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    1. Never thought about doing that. Great idea :)

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing your post at The Weekend re-Treat Link Party on The Best Blog Recipes this week! Wanted to stop by and pin to our Party Boards while I was here tonight :)

    Shauna @ The Best Blog Recipes

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  14. Meal plans really are a life saver!! I try to plan a week at a time right now, but have done a month at a time in the past and that worked pretty well! If you get a chance I’d love to see this post on my linkup: http://timeforseason.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-favorite-things-saturdays-125.html

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  15. Love your post on Meal Planning and Thank You for participating in Simple Saturdays Blog Hop last week...YOU were our FEATURED pick of the week!! Congratulations...make sure and head on over to one of our co-host sites and grab your "Featured" Button to proudly display on your site and Thank you for such an awesome post...I for one am making more of a commitment to meal plan this year!! ~Kat from Simply Living Simply

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    1. Thank you so much for the Feature. I love hopping with you guys!

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  16. Congratulations on being chosen as the featured blog post on Simple Saturdays Blog Hop this week! As Kat said, we are so happy you joined us. Please come back and share with us again this week!

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