Meal Planning

Do you meal plan?

I do every 2 weeks. I like to plan ahead. I don’t plan what meals are going to be for what nights or anything… but I plan and shop for 10 dinners (sometimes 1 or 2 extra recipes that have similar ingredients to others that I’ve shopped for in case I change my mind) and then I shop for lunches and breakfasts etc for those 2 weeks at a time.

That is why a lot of the things I talk about I say “thaw”. I don’t usually buy and then cook meat the next day. I don’t usually buy fresh and cook THAT day. It’s very rare that that happens. I don’t like to run to the grocery store every day. I’ve got kids… kids that are impatient and don’t love the grocery store. I personally don’t like the germs that come with the touching of the shopping carts!  Ew.

So, every 2 weeks I’ve got my pinterest board that I go thru, delete the ones I’ve already made my own, and re-pin ideas for the next couple of weeks.

Here is my weekly planning board: https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccacain23/weekly-meal-plans/

If you don’t like the online route for meal planning, you can go the route of a paper pad: Knock Knock What to Eat Pad

OR a magnetic white board for your fridge! I’ve done this in the past! Magnetic Meal Planner

My husband and I also just started using the app: “Out of Milk”. You can scan the UPC code on some items so that it can be REALLY specific if you husband needs to pick something up for you! You can specify store, items, how many, average price, and whether or not you have a coupon for it. It also gives you an alert for whats on sale in the area! It’s a very helpful app, and I have it open as I shop so that I only buy what I planned to purchase. It helps keep me from purchasing anything impulsively!

Also, have you ever heard of Mvelopes? There are 2 versions. There is the cash version, and the debit card all online version. The online version, at www.mvelopes.com has a free version and it tracks all of your swipes on your debit cards and credit cards! It helps you budget and track your spending. It will even give you a graph that shows you percentages of where you spend your money! Crazy huh? We took a Dave Ramsey course at our church and it was recommended. I’d say check it out if you’re looking for something to help figure out where all that $$ is going! 🙂

Tonight my husband is still not home and it’s 8p. Sometimes he gets home early, and sometimes he gets home late! I did not feel like cooking a big whole dinner just for myself.. and also did not feel like making dinner at 8p. So, tomorrow is the day a recipe will come!

So, how do you meal plan? What are your tools?? Or, do you just wing it at the grocery store?? Let me know!

And now, for the quote of the day:

C.S. Lewis

Friday the 13th!

So…. my Friday ended up with me getting 7 stitches in my finger due to me attempting to help my husband with yard work and breaking out the electrical hedge trimmers. Needless to say, no cooking was done in my house last night or tonight.

I AM doing meal planning… So, I am going to post a bit about that.

My husband gets paid 2x per month… so, therefore, to be most efficient, I grocery shop 2x per month. (SOMETIMES I have to go back out for perishables). So, when the grocery shopping time is coming up, I go through and plan out what recipes I will be making for the next 2 weeks. I usually pick about 18 in case I change my mind, or my mood changes. At least 5 have overlapping ingredients, so that I don’t have to double purchase. Also, I like to be able to use leftovers, or excess from one meal, to make another.

I usually use 3 different things to do the planning. 1: sparkpeople.com . This website rocks! They have a large library of recipes WITH the calories listed, which is really great. I also love the weightloss area of the website too, and how it’s free and makes sure that you have a BALANCED diet, not just get skinny. They focus on HEALTH, which I LOVE!

I also use pinterest. I not only search for recipes, I have a board where I pin my bi-weekly recipes, and then when they are made, if I liked them, I transfer them to my meals board.

I also use my cooking magazines. I just picked up Cooking Light from the grocery store. I will for SURE be incorporating these recipes the next two weeks! They have a lot of fresh and clean focuses on the recipes in there, so I’m excited to try some fun and new stuff!

I’m also trying to learn. I really want to go to culinary school, but until I can… I am watching youtube vidoes, trying new methods, new foods, etc as much as I can. I am just soaking it all in! I’m also trying to be cautious about clean, organic ingredients, and also lower in calories… the “lightened” version of things.

Thats my thinking!

Here is my board on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rebeccacain23/weekly-meal-plans/

I’ll be up and cooking soon… until then, it will be info, advise, and musings! Praying these stitches heal well and quickly!!