I was telling some friends today that I can remember the first time I "meal planned". My baby was a few months old and my husband was working. We only had one car and I was struggling with a baby who needed to be held, bounced and shushed around the clock. I couldn't even think of dinner half the time. I felt proud to be able to throw something easy together in the evenings.
One Sunday, my husband offered to go to the store and pick up some things for the week and he asked what we needed. I pulled out a scrap piece of paper and scribbled down some meal ideas. Then I pulled out another piece of paper and wrote down the ingredients for those meals. What a difference! It didn't even matter which day I made the meals. What mattered was that I had a list of meals and had the ingredients needed to make them. And so, meal planning began in our home.
It's a little more involved now as I hunt for sales, try to use leftovers and eat out of the freezer to reduce the impact of shopping on our budget, but in reality it's remained very much the same. If meal planning helps you feel sane and not going to the grocery store every day, I say, "Do it!" I hope viewing our meal plans can inspire you to try a different recipe once in awhile or help you figure out what to eat when you're in a rut!
Here are our plans this week:
Monday: Baked swordfish, fresh corn on the cob, salad from our garden and cornbread
Tuesday: Chicken stir-fry with mushrooms, celery, carrots and onions with quinoa (adapted from this recipe)
Wednesday: Southwestern ground beef casserole
Thursday: Black beans and rice with lots of garden veggies