Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Man With A (Meal) Plan

How many times a week do you look at your wife, husband, kid, dog and ask, "What should we make for supper?" Only to be asked in return, "I don't know, what do you want?" or in the dog's case "woof?". Then after going back and forth a few times you decide, screw it let's go get take out. Well, if this happens to you a lot, I have a potential solution. If it doesn't, you're a better man/woman/dog than I am.

Meal Planning

I'm sure there are a lot of different methods out there for planning meals for the family. The family, heh, sounds like the mafia, mmmmm italian food... Anyway, so yeah, lots of different methods available, here's what we do.

First we wrote down a list of all the meals that we make. Then after a week or so of meal planning we lost the list. It's still MIA. So now we have an electronic version. It's still a work in progress, but it shouldn't get lost anytime soon.

Now that we have a list we sit down on a Saturday or Sunday with the kitchen calendar (that's a calendar in the kitchen, not a calendar with pictures of kitchens because that's disturbing) and place meals we want to eat for each day over the next week. We usually plan on supper being enough for a leftovers lunch. Since we work from home, it makes a quick, easy lunch.

Once we have the week filled up, we make our grocery list based of what is needed from the meals on the calendar and BAM, all the supper questions are answered for the week, plus you have a grocery list made.

To further motivate you to join the meal planning club, I give you a list of benefits you will or should receive from doing so.

Save Money

  • You will go out to eat less often, assuming you aren't including fast food restaurants on your list of meals you make and then adding them to the meal plan calendar. Hint: don't do that.
  • You will save money on groceries by knowing what you need to get for the coming week and not just randomly throwing things in the cart.
  • You will save money on extra trips to the grocery store for missing ingredients.
  • You will save money by making your own meals from scratch and not buying prepackaged items.

Save Time

  • No more staring blankly at the wife/husband/kid/dog trying to decide what to make for supper.
  • No more staring blankly in the fridge searching for what to make after the wife/husband/kid/dog was less than helpful.
  • Less time spent grocery shopping because of your super awesome focused list of items.
  • Less time spent making extra trips to the grocery for missing ingredients from unplanned meals.

Save You

  • Cooking your own meals more frequently because of a meal plan should result in healthier food intake because you are eating out less and eating less prepackaged grossness.
  • It's a lot less stressful coming home from work (or upstairs from work, in my case) and already knowing what needs to be done to make supper happen.
I'm sure there are many other reasons that I'm not smart or awake enough to think of right now, but do you really need anymore?

What's your go-to meal? We've been on a garden-fresh veggie pizza kick lately.


  1. I like to plan ahead like you say. Cook extra and keep it in my Tupperware containers to keep it fresh longer or to keep it in my freezer. These containers are amazing! Our old standby is pasta. A busy family with 4 children and we try to not buy processed food. Right now we are really into eating our frozen corn off the cob. Yummy!

    1. We're trying to curb the processed food consumption too. I love frozen corn off the cob.

  2. For some reason I've always been hesitant to try the meal plan thing. I guess I must like that time wasted trying to figure out what to cook each night. Lately my go to meal has been either salmon or a big salad.

    1. Yeah, we can usually figure out what to cook without too much issue. Our problem comes when we don't have what we need or we have it but it's rock solid in the freezer.