When life is getting crazy and I don’t feel like I have any moments for anything (see more in my post from last week about feeling burnt out) one thing that really helps is having a plan for dinner.
Due to our schedules my husband cooks most weekdays as I don’t get in the door until just before 6. Unfortunately he has a job that has him cooking all day so I feel bad that he then has to come home and cook for the two of us. This is one of the reasons why I plan what we are making so that he doesn’t have to make those decisions alongside of making it.
I also hate having to decide what I want to make on the day of so having a plan for the week helps relieve the stress off of both of us and also helps us branch out and try new things that we wouldn’t think of doing immediately.
So here is how my weekly meal planning works:
I always have at least one cookbook out from the library, currently they are all vegetarian or vegan cookbooks, that I like to look through and mark down pages that look interesting. If there is something that I really want to make out of those books or out of my regular recipes I write the ingredients we need on our grocery list.
Friday is generally grocery day. Almost every week we go to Superstore and every second week we go to Costco. On Costco days we also eat dinner there, splitting a hotdog and fries before we go shopping. We try and focus on getting lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and only going through the other aisles when we have specific things that we need.
Sunday is my day for planning out our meals. I take out a few of my favourite cookbooks as well as the schedule for the week. I try and plan the meals around Nigel’s schedule and make more complicated meals on his days off and easy meals or leftovers on days he is working a bit later. I write all of the meal ideas down (with page numbers if needed) on a white board that is kept on the fridge and then we know the plan for the week. There is a big section on the whiteboard I use to write items that we have that need to be used as they are starting to go bad. I don’t always plan for the weekends as we are often doing things (which I am sorry for as they are supposed to be my day to cook) or there is more time to plan.
Since I am not often involved in the actual cooking of dinner I try my best to help out with any of the prep. This includes taking things out of the freezer, having the recipe book open the correct page for Nigel or sometimes having things cooking in the crockpot so that Nigel doesn’t have to do anything.
Now this is the ideal and this doesn’t happen every week, but I definitely can tell the difference in my life when there has been a plan and we at least try to stick with a little bit. This also helps curb food waste as well as gets us trying new and different recipes. I feel bad that I can’t cook most days, but by working on the back end and trying to prep and plan as much as I can it makes things easier for the both of us.
Do you meal plan or meal prep? Does it help you and your week?