Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Kind of Meal Plan

Here are some facts about me and my cooking skills:
-I'm a food snob.
-I refuse to eat any fast food. Literally never.
-I only eat chicken as meat (they are the least cute of animals to eat and I have a big imagination)
-I am a GOOD cook. I know it. I can cook without recipes, I can make pretty much anything, I have only cooked maybe 3 things in my entire life that I didn't like.
-I am terrible at baking, must be because I rarely follow a recipe.
-The hardest part of cooking for me is the grocery shopping.
-I am a MESSY cook.

I try to be little Susie Homemaker and every Monday morning with a fresh new week ahead of me, I try to sit down and make a lovely little meal plan. With my creative ADD and the millions of recipes at my fingertips, I usually waste an hour and then end up being too tired to go grocery shopping, then I end up either making pb and j or we go out or get take out. Usually by Wednesday I have it "together" enough to get some stuff for some real food but it's always a hassle.

So I had a brilliant idea to set aside a few hours and just have fun with it and make 12 weeks of meal plans and grocery lists. It was fun! It is relatively organized and I think it just might work. I ended up making the lists on google docs in a spreadsheet. They are labeled 1-12. I figured I can just look over them and pick whatever looks good and go with it. Because of stuff I already had in my kitchen, I chose meal plan 4 this week. It was easy! I printed it off, grocery shopped, and returned home without any brain cells lost and instead of returning home with a lot of random stuff that looked good to me I had enough stuff for about 5 meals and snacks. And I think I only spent about $10 more than usual.

Here's the thing, if you're looking for meal plans to feed your family of 5 on $25 a week...look elsewhere and remember back at the top of this post when I declared my food snobbery. It's not just me! If I don't cook something truly yummy and satisfying, my husband will refuse to eat it and go order something out instead. I think keeping things a little more exciting will keep us out of restaurants and in our home.

I decided to keep a running spreadsheet of basics that I want to always keep in my kitchen. That way, before I run out the door to grocery shop, I can pull it up on my iphone and do a quick run through to make sure we aren't out of everything.
For right now, my basics list is this:
Almond Milk
Juice+spinach for green juice
Sharp Cheese
Peanut Butter
Chicken Frozen
Red Sauce
Hot dogs
Stuff for bread
Olive Oil
Brown Sugar
White Sugar
Lemon Juice
salt and pepper
soy sauce
Curry powder
balsamic vinegar
greek seasoning

As I said, it is on my google docs spreadsheet so it's easy to change and always available. I find myself updating it a lot lately.

Also, I decided a realistic meal plan for our family is NOT 21 meals a day, because we will want to go to our favorite Mexican place, or join friends for dinner. And I also know that we will probably eat leftovers from these meals as meals. So instead I came up with this list:
*2 Snacks-This is 2 different snacks that will be new, fun, and easy to pull out when the kids or I get hungry
*2 New Meal Plans-Why not?! There are SO many meals out there to try! I've pinned like 250 of them but I still feel like I'll never be able to cook them all!
*One easy meal-like fried egg sandwich, tacos, turkey burgers (basically something I can make without a recipe)
*One soup-Noah hates soup with a passion and I love it. I love to reheat it for lunch and don't mind eating it nearly every day.
*One salad-Not to brag, but I make a mean salad! I am not scared to put all sorts of random things on it and there are so many cool dressings, toppings I want to try. One of my secrets to a good salad is to mix 2 dressings. One creamy and one oily.
*Fruits and Veggies-just whatever looks good or is not super expensive.

We tend to like to snack a lot and we are both not into complicated meals. For the most part I don't worry about having a meat, a starch and a veggie. #1.I make quite the mess anyways so it cuts down on the mess. #2.We usually don't need a complicated meal. #3.I wont be overwhelmed with cooking and keeping 3 things hot.
So unless we are having new company, we tend to literally eat one thing.
We do eat fruits and veggies, it just tends to be more for snacks.

So there you have it. I very unorganized, very doable, FUN meal PLAN. I'll try to post my spreadsheets for you to look over in case anyone else wants to try.


  1. sounds like a great plan...i'd love to see what you have put together. we are sorta snobby about food too, which is why we are typically at a restaurant. but with good recipes, i don't mind cooking!

  2. This is an awesome idea! I should also invest some time to do one with our staple meals!

  3. My husband is skeptical about soups too. Try the recipe I blogged from Olive Garden. Super hearty and delicious as leftover lunches. We both love it!


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