I’m not one to try and save a buck here and there (well…I was when my hubby was briefly unemployed, but that’s different.) I’m not frivolous by any means, but whatever…you get the point. Well recently, after a trip to our neighborhood HEB, we were unloading the goods and it turns out, half the crap we bought we already had in stock. SO ANNOYING! Who needs 180 fruit snack bags? Apparently, the Barry Family does.
Well, after one of these bits, the conversation between me and my baby daddy went a little something like this:
“We HAVE to get more organized when we go to the grocery shopping…I’m going to meal plan.”
I’m sure he said something like “Ehh we don’t need a meal plan,”
and I said, “Go spray paint this with chalkboard for my weekly menu…thanks!”
Anyway, to start meal planning I did a complete survey of our freezer, fridge and pantry. What do you know? We had enough food in there to not grocery shop for TWO AND A HALF WEEKS! Was it the world’s most creative two weeks? No, but did we use the stuff we had in supply? Absolutely.
Now, I realize most people meal plan the opposite way—pick the menu items and then go to the grocery store–and now that we’re in the habit, we do it this way, too. So, here are my tips if meal planning is on your mind.
1.) Download Food on the Table. It’s an iPhone app and a web site and I should have mentioned it here. Using this app, you can pick some menu items and it will automatically populate a grocery list. The part that takes this app from good to great is that once you store your neighborhood grocery store, it will let you know when certain items are on sale. It’s PRETTTYYYY awesome.
2.) Make it easy on yourself. I know these things aren’t the healthiest items on the block, but as a working-mom or a stay-at-home-mom , I’m sure you’ll find a way to burn the calories. Not every night has to be an extravagant meal. These family meals aren’t our favorites, but they certainly make their appearance in the Barry home once every two weeks or so.
3.) Prepare early. Maybe, if you’ve got an extra sweet hubby like I do, you can have some alone time on Sunday and get some of the food prep out of the way–bake some chicken, brown some beef, make your salads for the week, etc.
4.) Split dinner duty. Part of the pain of dinner is that in the average household, the mom has to do the deed. Try splitting up the week or asking your man to pick up one night on his way home–that one day might make a world of a difference!
How do you meal plan? DO you meal plan?