Happy New Year Everyone! As just about everyone, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get better organized and to eat healthier. So this year I am vowing to do meal planning EVERY week. Last year I did it a few weeks and the weeks I did it made it SO much easier on me and my family.
How many times have you gone to make dinner and then you spend 30 mins trying to figure what to make? Once you decide you realize that you don’t have some of the ingredients, or even worse you just end up making the same thing ALL the time. Yup I have been there to many times!
So last week I decided that either on Saturday or Sunday night I was going to sit down and plan out the next 2 weeks of meals and then order the groceries I needed (I used a grocery delivery service called Peapod). I stuck to it and guess what… this week has been great! No more wondering what the heck am I going to make and do I have those ingredients. I posted on Facebook that I did this and I was amazed at the response I got and how many wanted my plan, so I decided to make my meal planning a bi-weekly post on here. So every other week I will post the recipes that I am making and you can follow along if you like. I usually only plan out 5-6 meals per week.
If you still need some reasons to meal plan here are a few:
- Save Time! No running to the store for last-minute items. No wasting brain power when you have had a long day.
- Save Money! Meal planning means less take-out and less just buying things at the store since you have a list.
- Better for your Health! By skipping frozen meals and fast food restaurants you will be eating healthier better for you meals.
- Prevent Obesity! Have a better nutritional control of your meals. Frozen dinner meals are full of salt, sugars and preservatives that aren’t good for you.
- Reduce Stress! Lets face it, as busy families we are always running and having one less thing to think about at the end of the day will help reduce your stress.
I have all my recipes saved in a program called Paprika and I first browse through there for recipes I have already made and I know we like. Then I will go through Food Network’s and Wildtree’s website looking for one or two new ones. Myself and now my son are both gluten free so many of the recipes I choose are already GF or can easily be converted. I also try and choose one or two vegetarian meals. You might notice we do alot of pasta based meals, my son is a VERY picker eater and he loves pasta. I do try and get different kinds of Gluten Free pasta so we are not always eating the same thing, ie. some made out of corn, chickpeas, rice, etc.
I write them all out for each day in my new Erin Condren planner so it’s easy to see what’s for dinner. It’s also great for when I have a crock pot meal, I’ll put a little crock pot sticker with the time to start it so I remember!
So here are the meals I have planned for post #1:
- Absolutely Onion Pot Roast – this was fabulous!*
- Sausage and Broccolini Risotto
- Capellini al Forno
- Tacos (no recipe needed)
- One Pot Chili Mac*
- Orzo with Mint Salmoriglio Sauce
- Sheppards Pie
- Pasta Primoveria*
- Winter Minestrone – another fabulous one!
- Unstuffed Peppers – My son loved this one, had 3 servings! My daughter not so much 🙂
- Freezer meal one night (I take one day a month and make about 10 of these)
*You might notice a few of the recipes I picked are Wildtree based recipes and well that is because they are yummy, quick to make, healthy and I am an consultant for them. If you want to know more check this link: mywildtree.com/athomewithjen
If I am late to posting one week, just kick me cause it means I probably didn’t do it yet and I need to!! I figure by making this public it will keep me better on track to get this down 🙂
I hope you guys enjoy and this and it at least gives you a starting point in planning your own meals!
How about you, do you meal plan? What you best organizing secret?
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