Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How to Meal Plan

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Friends, I am so super passionate about food. I love preparing, cooking, smelling, and eating it. In the South, our culture revolves around it. And I believe that it is important to be nourished well. I began learning to cook in middle school in FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) class. Now, it is something that I enjoy doing in order to nourish me and my husband well. Cooking (almost) every night can seem daunting if you are accustomed to eating out frequently or didn't learn while you were growing up. But friends, it doesn't have to be awful.

Before the beginning of a new month, I take out my Purposeful Planner and consult cookbooks and websites to make a plan. I don't like to eat the same thing over and over again, so I really try to mix it up. I have a few go-to recipes, but I really like trying new things. I spend about thirty minutes making my monthly plan by doing the following steps:

1. I go to the cookbook(s) or website(s) I'm using for the month and write the name of a meal in each day of the week. There are usually one or two nights where we are eating out, so this is about 5 meals a week.
2. I look at the recipes for each week and make a grocery list on a big sticky note for each week, depending on what I know we already have, and place that in my agenda on the corresponding week's page.
3. Either Rory or I goes to the store and gets everything on the list. This helps with spending because there is an exact list and we can't say, "I thought we needed it." It also prevents us from buying random things that won't really help us make complete meals later.

This little system has worked for me for the past four months and has saved me a lot of headache in the kitchen. :) Do you have any favorite ways to meal plan? How do you make dinner happen each night?

Favorite Cookbooks
The Skinny Taste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor
Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun

Favorite Food Blogs

Budget Bytes
The Pioneer Woman
Skinny Taste

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