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One of my goals for 2016 is to consistently meal plan. I frequently buy in bulk, and we keep a very well stocked pantry and freezer. As such, I am rarely grocery shopping for the items I need that week, but rather for the items we have used up in the pantry. By meal planning based on what we have on hand, I’m hoping that the question of “what are we having for dinner?” will be an easy answer, and nights of having carry out will become a thing of the past.
Why I stopped meal planning
I absolutely love to cook and bake. Prior to having children, we entertained friends several nights a week with delicious home cooked meals, beautiful desserts, and all while working full time jobs. Then I had my oldest son, and we entertained a whole lot less but still had home cooked meals. Over the next 5 years, we would have two more children, and when my youngest was born 2 1/2 years ago, we fell into a really bad routine of having carry out several times per week. My meal planning and my give a damn had gone out the window. Part of that was do to being overwhelmed with a new baby; part was do to having PPD and not caring. Now that I am feeling better, and life is falling into a better routine, I am ready to tackle meal planning again, and do it successfully.
How I Meal Plan … Phase 1
As I attempt to get back in the groove of meal planning, I am not going to schedule specific meals for specific days. Instead, I am going to make a list of 7 meals that I can prepare during the week with items we already have on hand. From that list of 7 meals, I will prepare at least 5 of them since several nights may become leftover lottery if I over cook, which I tend to do, especially when soups or casseroles are involved.
The goal is that, eventually, I will plan specific meals for specific days so I can prep ahead and use my time in the kitchen more efficiently. I am realistic that I need to work up to that though.
This week’s meal plan: January 4-10
- herb roasted chicken breast, with leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, and veggies
- soup night – lentil soup & chicken noodle
- salisbury steak meatballs with buttered noodles
- kielbasa & pierogis
- bacon wrapped chicken, mashed potatoes, veggie
- spaghetti marinara
- buttermilk waffles, sausage, citrus salad
I will check in later in the week with what we decided to make, and which recipes we followed.
What’s on your meal plan for the upcoming week?
Happily Homegrown participates in Menu Plan Monday.