As most of you who’ve been around here for a little while know, I am passionately dedicated to avoiding processed food and instead making the things we might normally buy at the store at home.
But, like many of you, I also have a 17 month old daughter who needs needs neeeeeeeeds to be fed as soon as we’re on home territory at the end of the day; we have yoga classes and volleyball practices and I have blog stuff and doula stuff and breastfeeding stuff and (breeeeeathe!!)…it can be awfully tempting to have a few pre-packaged frozen dinners on hand, or to have a box of crackers for a snack, or to order Chinese food when I’m just too darn tired to even think about setting foot in the kitchen.
I have come to realize that the key to success when it comes to eating meals made at home is to plan, plan, plan. At first, it might seem like a lot of work – and it is a bit of work up front at the start of your week – but I wanted to share with you my meal planning process because it’s made a huge difference to our lives in the last few months.
We eat out less. We eat healthier foods. We never come home and stand in front of the fridge, uninspired. We are actually spending less on groceries (up to $200 a month less!) and definitely wasting less food.
I want to dedicate this week to giving you some tips on meal planning, hoping that it might inspire you and give you some tools to help you do the same with your family.
So. Here’s my meal plan for the week. This week, we’re going to work our way through this plan, and I will give you some (hopefully!) helpful tips along the way! In the meantime, if you already plan out your weekly meals, I’d love to hear from you. What are your tricks? What are your go-to meals?
- TIP #1: Before starting to draft up your plan, hunt through your fridge and freezer. See what you already have available, and be sure to incorporate those things into your plan.
- TIP#2: Have a look through your calendar. Are there any nights that you know you won’t have time to make an elaborate home-cooked meal? We usually have at least one night a week where one of us will be getting home late and/or leaving shortly after dinner for some activity. These are good nights to eat omelettes, or tuna melts!
- TIP #3: Have a look through your recipe books and favourite food blogs. Are there any dishes that you’ve been dying to make? One of the keys to successful meal planning is to have some standard meals that everyone likes and are relatively simple to make, but it’s also important to shake it up and keep it interesting. Find a new recipe for a salad or a new marinade for your meat: aim to try something new once or twice a week!