I shared with you HERE that one of my goals is to feed my family good meals. For me, that doesn’t always mean super healthy (I have an intense love for homemade mac ‘n cheese) but it does mean made at home. Time spent in the kitchen and around the table are never wasted in my book.
A couple of thoughts…..
#1 – While I enjoy cooking, this isn’t so much about cooking as it is about the people I feed (myself included). You may not love to cook but I’m willing to bet you love the people you feed. Dinner doesn’t only have to be made in the evening (make it early and warm it up later) and it doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy.
#2 – I have read a couple of blog posts about making our regular tasks pleasurable. So try to make this process as enjoyable as possible. If you like what you are working on, you are more likely to follow through. Cook meals that you look forward to eating…buy a few pretty dishes that bring you delight…maybe wear an apron like THIS ONE. Or these from Anthrolopolgie.
Step 1 – Gather your tools.
- Calendar: I plan for about 2 weeks at a time and do one big shopping trip for each 2 week period. I need my calendar to know which nights we are in and which nights we will need to eat leftovers or use the crockpot.
- Pinterest or recipes: I cook almost exclusively using recipes on my Pinterest Yummy Stuff Board so I have it handy.
- Meijer (grocery store) ad: I shop at Meijer and always have the ad pulled up on the computer so I can try as much as possible to buy items that are on sale.
Step 2 - Fill in the blanks.
Two blog posts have helped me plan meals for the last few months and find success not only in planning but in execution (meaning I actually cooked what I had planned on cooking!). You can read them HERE and HERE. In the end, I use a template approach to planning (see above).
MONDAY: Some sort of MEAT probably in the crockpot that will allow for leftovers.
TUESDAY: CROCKPOT meal which will also allow for leftovers. This works excellent for us as we typically have some sort of sporting event on Tuesdays.
WEDNESDAY: LEFTOVERS! The 2 big kids attend 2 different youth groups which start at different times and when you mix a sports practice in there leftovers are WAY easier than cooking.
THURSDAY/FRIDAY: SOUP and some sort of sandwich or bread. I will cook on of these and one will be another leftovers night depending on the schedule.
SATURDAY: Nothing formal. I often use Saturday when we are home to make something fun. This week it will be THIS.
SUNDAY: PIZZA every Sunday night.
If you want to make this even easier, you can create a Pinterest board with your favorites from each category. Or a friend suggested a file folder with your favorites for each day of the week.
Last few tips:
- I keep the meals and side dishes tasty and simple.
- I try to have keep ingredients that I use frequently always stocked up.
- I typically have a few go to meals that don’t require prep (breakfast for dinner).
- Start in the morning even if it’s just setting the ingredients on the counter. Sometimes when I buy ground beef, I will even cook it right then and freeze it for when I need it.
As a gal that struggles with consistency in many areas of my life I want to encourage you that this CAN be done! It requires some planning but using a template approach also gives me the flexibility to change things up when necessary. Take these ideas and make them yours and let me know how it goes!
“There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri