Today’s adventure involves Meal Planning.
Something every large family takes very seriously.
When you average $2000 a month on groceries it is a very serious thing.
I like to plan ahead. I don’t mean plan so that we have Chicken on Monday and Pork chops on Thursday and don’t break from the plan damn it or you will screw it all up kind of planning. I like to be a little more fluid in my choice of dinner.
I found this fantastic Pin on Pinterest that (Yeah, I drank the Pinterest Koolaide) has some awesome crock pot meals. I tried a few of them last month and WOW! It was sweet!
Go there. I did the Chicken Teriyaki and the Savory Chicken. They were melt in your mouth!
So back to meal planning…
I write down a list of about 13 or so different meals for the month. I try to make it things that are filling or that have sides that fill the tummies of 6 growing boys and a lumberjack of a husband. Things I can double up on filling out the meals for the entire month. Yeah, there will be repeats but Hey, Budget.
After figuring in leftover nights you should come out even for number of meals vs days in the month (unless it is August or one of those weird 31 days months. Whatevs.)
Now that you have the list of what you want to make, get your list of what you need to make them with.
Be sure to check your pantry and freezer for anything you had left over from the month before. You might not need to get some items because you already have them on hand. I like to keep certain things stocked regardless so I always have extra. Rice, Pasta, Canned foods (green beans, spam, corn, soups)
If you go the crock pot route like I am thins month you can get everything, including the produce.
I love Costco because I can get bulk everything, including the produce at decent prices.
If you chose NOT to freeze meal plan then try to hold off getting any of your produce until either the day you need or 2 days before. You don’t want your tomatoes or peppers to get squishy before you need them. (HINT: DO NOT put Tomatoes in the fridge! It will cause them to get all mealy and they go bad faster.)
I finally took the time to do a “Meal Prep Day” getting everything put together on one day. One mess.
It was the best thing EVER!
Serious ladies and gents, try it once. You may think at the time ‘What the hell, This is a giant pain in the ass!” But Trust me, when you are exhausted from a day of work, be it at home or out at a job, when all you need to do it wipe out the crock pot you will do a dance as you sip your box wine!