Meal Planning 101
Okay, so I have received a lot of questions regarding my meal plans…most of which I was not prepared to answer…or simply did not have an answer for. So, I jotted down some of the questions I’ve received and taken some time to think about how to answer them in hopes of simplifying the process. Here goes nothing:
Do you adjust recipe sizes for two people (because lets be honest….Lucy doesn’t eat a damn thing and Eli is still nursing)?
Not really. Let me remind you that I am NOT A GOOD COOK. I don’t have a fancy kitchen or gadgets…no, seriously…I can barely boil pasta. So, if any of you ARE a good cook (I’m looking at you Samuel!) do NOT judge me for this. Regardless of what a recipe calls for with regards to meat…I almost always just use one pack of chicken or ground turkey from Costco for Andrew and I. If I am cooking with beef….I just buy whatever is closest to the recipe. So far…it seems to work out okay.
It seems like you cook something new every night. What do you do with leftovers?
WHAT DO I DO WITH LEFTOVERS??? I bask in their glory…that’s what I do. I send Andrew to work with leftovers for lunch, I eat them for lunch and one night a week we have OYO (On Your Own) Night! This is where I pull out all the leftovers and you eat whatever you want….and you know what…sometimes that means cereal. I’m serious you guys….Andrew would eat cereal for every meal if I would let him.
Modifications (if any) to feed Lucy?
You guys…I’m serious….this needs to be a whole separate blog post. It would include a lot of profanities and pictures of me drowning in wine as I force feed Lucy “secret veggie muffins”. Insert punching yourself in the face emoji here. Wait…what? They don’t have that emoji yet? They need to add a mother to their development squad to get some real emojis up in here….you know….the lady hiding in the pantry with red vines? HOLLA! Where is her emoji!?! I digress.
After months of trying what felt like everything (except Milton…still on the fence) I sat down with my pediatrician to hash out how to starve my toddler without actually starving my toddler (whom I love dearly). The one thing that really stuck with me was to always make sure there is at least one thing on Lucy’s plate that she WILL eat so I basically meal plan around this key factor. If I am serving these AMAZING curried turkey burgers that I know Lucy won’t even likely try, I will serve them with sweet potato fries and a couple slices of cheese knowing she will eat the sweet potato and cheese. Same goes for this simple (and DELICIOUS) Cashew Chicken….I will give her a couple orange slices and a tablespoon of cashews in addition to the meal as-is knowing she will eat the oranges and cashews. We do not bring attention to the differences or praise/condemn whether or not she eats it. I should clarify….we attempt not to praise nor condemn outwardly while I secretly die inside as I put her to bed with a stomach full of cashews and orange slices. Anyway…that really sums of the extent of my modifications. If you’re reading this thinking that I am a mean and nasty mom with no heart….well….if the shoe fits I guess…
Where are you sourcing and storing your recipes?
When are you getting the prep/cooking done for dinner ?
Okay so this is where I feel like getting dinner on the table is the most difficult. Between picking up some consulting work from my past life, planning Tot School for Lucy, keeping a somewhat clean house and getting dinner on the table…I have to plan my day out down to the minute (which is why I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Day Designer). I put both kids down for nap no later than 1:00pm which means I have 2 hours (if neither wakes up) to bust out anything I want to get done….this includes going to the bathroom alone…looking at/posting on IG….cleaning…preparing an afternoon “activity” and prepping for dinner. I prioritize bathroom, dinner, cleaning…trolling the internet (I usually save this for the evening when I can really judge people).
If the recipe will allow it…I will cook the whole thing during nap….casseroles….meat for tacos, salads, etc. If not, I prep all sauce, veggies, etc. during nap so all I have to do is throw it together at the end of the day. The recipes I am choosing are pretty simple.
When do you actually sit down and get the meal planning done?
I do this all week. Any down time I have, you can almost always find me on Pinterest. If I see something I want to make the following week….I save it to my Meal Plan board – I usually target 4-6 recipes depending on what we have going on that week. If I plan on a Costco trip I save it for a Sunday morning and make my list on Saturday night…if I have made my Costco run for the month…I am most likely using ClickList and schedule it for pick up on Monday morning after pre-school.
Do you plan your meals around what ingredients overlap to make it more cost effective?
I wish! I need to figure out a way to be more intentional with meal planning but I’m not there yet. However, I do find that a lot of the time my meal plans will naturally overlap with regards to ingredients. I LOVE ASIAN FOOD. If I find a recipe with Asian influence, you can almost always bet that our week will be full of Asian inspired recipes. Same goes for Mexican. I wish I could say this was part of my plan but I’m usually a glass of wine deep and hangry while meal planning so your guess is as good as mine. Whatever sounds good is what I go with. I cook something from Skinnytaste AT LEAST once a week….I also LOVE Carlsbad Cravings and Iowa Girl Eats among many others!
Hopefully this helps and/or gives you some good resources for meal planning! Seriously…if you have any questions or feedback…don’t hesitate to reach out!!
Happy eating….happy drinking…happy wife >>> happy life 🙂