Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meal Planning & "Plan It--Don't Panic" Week 1

A few weeks ago I was talking with an unmarried friend and she asked me what one of the hardest things I've had to learn while being married. I had to think about it for awhile, but then I realized that learning to be a better time manager has been a huge struggle for me! When you are single, disorganization doesn't wreak quite as much havoc on your life as when you are caring for another person who is depending on you. (I'm sure here in a few weeks I am going to find out how REALLY true that with the birth of our baby!)

I still have a long way to go, but one of the most helpful things I've done to keep life organized is plan out meals. I've tried both weekly and monthly meal plans. Neither totally matters, both are beneficial.

Here are some benefits I've found to making a meal plan:

1.) Knowing each day what your family will be eating. It prevents rushing around 30 minutes before you want to eat like a chicken with your head cut off. You can make nice meals because you've had time to prepare. It adds a peacefulness to cooking.
2.) Being able to plan nutritious meals. It helps me make the time to soak my grains, etc., things that don't happen if I don't plan ahead.
3.) It saves us money! Meal planning allows me to make out a monthly/weekly grocery list and stick to it. I try to only go to the store for food once a week. It has been proven that the more trips you make to the store, the more money gets spent on impulse shopping. It also helps me budget out how much money we might need for groceries that month.

So all that said here is my "Plan It--Don't Panic!" post for meals for the week of September 26th-October 2nd. I'm not sure if I will be able to participate in all 6 weeks because of the baby coming but I love that this is gathering women together to encourage this helpful practice! Plus it's given me some meal ideals already for next month. And usually I don't plan breakfasts but in honor of the challenge, I am trying it!

September 26th-October 2nd
Monday--Breakfast: eggs, toast, yogurt
Dinner: steaks w/pineapple chutney, baked potatoes, & coleslaw
Prep: soak 1 1/2 cups navy beans
Tuesday--Breakfast: smoothies & toast
Dinner: ham & navy bean soup
Prep: thaw hamburger
Wednesday--Breakfast: fried eggs, hash-browns w/onions & peppers
Dinner: hamburgers w/ frybread buns, fresh veggies
Prep: thaw hamburger
Thursday--Breakfast: scrambled eggs, leftover frybread, fruit
Dinner: lasagna
Friday--Breakfast: smoothies & toast
Dinner: potato soup
Prep: soak pinto/black bean mix; thaw stew meat
Saturday--Breakfast: pancakes & eggs
Dinner: Chili w/ cornbread
Prep: soak oatmeal & rice; thaw re-fried beans
Sunday--Breakfast: oatmeal w/fruit & nuts
Dinner: southwestern style casserole

To see more about the challenge, check out this link!

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