Meal Planning; most of us either love it or hate it.
Some of us may not love doing it, but we love the results. We recognize meal planning to be the best way to save money on food and to reduce late afternoon stress.
But meal planning is more than making a list of the meals you plan to make in the coming week or month. At its best, meal planning will include notes concerning what to cook for the freezer for busy days, what to cook in the morning, and more.
I’m convinced that we’ve been going about dinner time all wrong. Or at least that there might be a better way. We live in a culture that insists on being busy. (I don’t like it, but I haven’t yet figured out a way to change it.) Evenings are crowded with kids’ activities, parents coming home from work, and social and church commitments. With all that has to take place in the evening, who wants to have to fit cooking into the mix? And who has the energy?
That’s why I’ve worked out a system that allows me to cook when it works for me, and by doing so, to avoid eating out on those busy nights (or the lazy or uninspired nights).
I recently wrote a post for TheHumbledHomemaker explaining the various elements to my “Cook when I feel like it” strategy. Here they are in a nutshell:
- Seasonal Meal Planning
- Quarterly Freezer cooking
- Cooking in the Morning
- Take one night a week off
If you haven’t read that post, go ahead over and read it now so the rest of this article will make sense. I’ll wait. (click the image below to see the article on TheHumbledHomemaker.)
Ah, you’re back.
What did you think?
Get any good ideas? Anything you might be able to implement into your own meal planning routine? Did I mention some things you’re already doing? Feel free to chat with me about it in the comments. I love to hear how my readers go about making this eating thing happen!
I know there are tons of ways to save money on food costs. I also know that some have a higher ROI (return on investment) than others.
So here’s what I’ve got planned for this blog: From now on, beginning with my next recipe post, I’ll be adding a helpful feature at the bottom of each post. It will be called “Tips for Cooking When You Feel Like it”. For each recipe I’ll answer some of all of the following questions (depending on relevance):
- What parts of this meal freeze well and should be on your freezer-cooking plan?
- What parts of this meal don’t necessarily freeze well but can be made in the morning, while you still have energy and a brain?
- What parts of this meal can be delegated to someone else in the family?
I hope these tips will help you to develop your own meal planning and preparing system.
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to getting meals on the table?