I’ve said it before, meal planning is the way to a stress-free week. But I haven’t always followed my own advice. I just got back into it but with a few tips to make things easier.
For one, I only plan three meals per week. I know there are seven dinners each week, so planning for three is really easy! No excuses. My planned dinners are for Tuesday-Thursday. I almost never cook on Friday nights. We order in food or Ray brings home ravioli from Eataly near his office. Saturday night is Ray’s night to cook. Sunday we usually have leftovers from the weekend. And Monday I cobble together something from whatever is in the fridge (salad, quiche, sandwich or a can of soup). So that leaves just three nights of planned meals.
Our CSA is on Tuesdays for half of the year. I get inspired by our CSA vegetables and come up with new things to cook. I also go to Whole Foods on Tuesdays before taking JP to occupational therapy. Because I can’t concentrate when JP is with me, I look at recipes and make a list to bring to the store with me. Then when JP is eating his dinner around 5:30pm, I start prepping the dinner. I chop, dice, or partially cook whatever I can while JP is in the kitchen with me. Then after he goes to bed at 7pm, I finish cooking the meal.
The prep part is an important step. I was doing the planning and buying but then when 7pm came around I didn’t feel like cooking anymore. So if I prep the food first, I HAVE to come back and finish it.
There, those are my secrets to meal planning. What works for you?