Thursday, June 25, 2009

Meal Planning

My husband and I have been married for just a tiny bit over 2 years... in fact, June 9 was our 2nd anniversary. Before we were married I knew nothing about cooking. Really, nothing. I mean, I could make box mac n' cheese, and I could bake chocolate chip cookies, but that was basically it. While living at home, when my Mom cooked dinner I was always teaching piano, so never really had the chance to help or learn that much. So when David and I got married, cooking was a learning experience. The poor guy tried so many yucky things, and was such a good sport about it- sometimes even eating seconds. What a man!!!!! In the past 2 years I have learned ALOT about cooking. I have also learned alot of healthy cooking/snacks, thanks to my health-nut husband. Now, I'm not saying that all of my recipes are super healthful, but I am saying that I do try to make the majority of my meals healthy.

So today, what I thought I'd share with you is something that I have found to be quite helpful. Meal planning. I like to meal plan one week at a time. You can do it for however many weeks you like... I have many friends that meal plan for 2 weeks at a time. I think 2 weeks at a time sounds like such a great idea, but am afraid that alot of the food would go bad before we were ready to eat it. I start my meal planning by opening up a document on my computer that has listed all of our favorite meals. Then I start picking meals in such a way that gives us a good variety throughout the week (variety for taste and health). Here is what our meal plan looked like this week;

Monday: BBQed chicken, zucchini, corn, and roasted potatoes
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: chicken fajitas, refried pinto beans, homemade spanish brown rice, fruit salad
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: crockpot thai chicken, plain brown rice, squash & broccoli
Saturday: spaghetti (with either whole wheat or spelt noodles), whole wheat garlic bread, spinach salad (w/ nuts, berries, carrots, seeds, apples, cranberries).
Sunday: breakfast for dinner- usually eggs & toast (sometimes with turkey bacon, and potatoes... most of the time we just keep it simple on the Sabbath.)

You've probably noticed a couple of things: 1. we have a few leftover days and 2. I only plan dinners. The reason that I have leftover days is because usually when you're cooking family size recipes for 2 people, you're bound to have leftovers- unless you're a pig. HA! Leftovers are perfect for us, because of my husbands work schedule, he isn't home for a few dinners during the week. We just stick the leftovers is two containers- one for him while he is at work, and one for me while I'm at home. I love it because most of the time when he is at work, I don't feel like cooking a whole meal just for myself, ya know? Its perfect! Now, to be honest I can't say that I actually have a reason for only planning dinners. I guess for me, planning dinners was just a start to maybe planing breakfast/lunch as well, which I would love to try doing. Maybe next month I will give it a try and then report back to you.

One thing I really love about meal planning is this: there are far less trips to the grocery store during the week, which in return means I'm spending less. I make one big trip to WINCO, and get everything I need for the week of dinners. Once I've planned the dinners I write them out on a little white board and keep it in the kitchen so that way the Hubby can look forward to whats coming :-) It also helps remind me of any prep that needs to be done before dinner.

I hope you've found this helpful! Now, go get planning :-)

lotsa love,

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