I go in fits and starts with planning meals in advance. Sometimes I get on a really good roll and plan a week or two out, and sometimes I am scrambling around at 4:30PM trying to figure out what we’re eating for dinner that night.
I know there are some people who plan WAY far out—a month of meals all decided in advance. That’s impressive, but not at all realistic for me. My ideal situation is when I get about 7-10 days planned out. It takes all the pressure off on a daily basis because I already know what I’m cooking that night. It’s flexible so if something comes up, I can sub one night for another easily. And it really makes grocery shopping MUCH easier: I make my shopping list based on the meals I have planned, so I am never short an important ingredient at the last minute, and I don’t overspend by just buying a bunch of random stuff and just hoping I can throw something good together with whatever I’ve got.
Right now I’m in a good meal planning groove and I’m determined to keep my momentum going. I have meals planned through the end of this week and up to Monday of next week. I usually grocery shop on Mondays, so as long as I sit down one night before then and plan out next week’s meals, I shouldn’t have any problem keeping this up.
Here’s the plan for the next few nights:
Tonight: Kung Pao Chicken (using the recipe from Wegmans but subbing in chicken for shrimp because it’s what I have)
Thurs: Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup (Simple, fast, and everyone’s happy!)
Fri: Miso salmon, steamed broccoli, bread (We eat salmon pretty regularly, but this is my favorite way to prepare it.)
Sun: Golden chili (I don’t know where we got this recipe, but this is my favorite chili. It has both sweet and hot Italian sausage, chickpeas, and corn in it. When Matt makes it this weekend, I’ll get some pictures and post the recipe soon.)
Mon: Bierocks with salad (I think this is a German dish—it’s fresh bread stuffed with meat and veggies. So yummy, so warm and comforting. And this is my favorite bread recipe, hands down.)
I’ve been using my new day planner from Sugar Paper LA (which I LOOOOOOOVVVVEEEE) to help me get more organized. I’m using it for meal-planning, blog-post planning, and keeping track of all of our schedules. I’m an analog girl when it comes to stuff like this—the phone will probably never replace my hand-written lists.
Do you meal plan? Share some of your favorite recipes!