We are so close to being out of the kitchen that I can almost taste it. Which is good this week, as we are back to talking about food with our week 8: whole house organization: meal planning.
I am really in love with this week for several reasons, but perhaps the most key piece about it is the actual organization aspect. As I’ve talked about in recent weeks, our food situation is pretty tight in that we don’t have a lot of room for food storage. Planning our weekly meals is important so that we aren’t wasting food, either by throwing away leftovers or allowing stuffs to go bad.
And week 8 meal planning was gosh darn simple to do with several of Taylor’s tips from Homes Storage Solutions 101. You’ll have to stop by her place to check out all the tricks she suggests for how to properly plan your meals; however, I can show you what I’ve implemented here.
Oh My GOSH. It’s a fabulous free meal planning template from HSS101.
I know. Game changer. She’s also got grocery list forms (free) over there, too. YAY!
So. I printed out the meal planner for the week and got busy figuring out how it would all shake out. As you may see, I planned only dinners (mostly), and noted the days that dinner would be usurped by other activities. Mags has Swim Team most days, Choir on her off day, and G teaches in the evening twice a week. Working around that – once written down – is easy.
Plus, G made an AMAZING chicken and veggie stew for Monday’s meal and those leftovers were stretched for several more meals. I knew this going in and that made it easy to plan the rest of the week.
Especially after I found these yummy meatloaf muffins from Silvie at My Silly Little Gang. She guest hosted at one of the linkup parties I attend weekly and I couldn’t stop thinking about those muffins. So rather than just pin it to one of my boards and hope that I’ll someday get around to making them, I decided to just go ahead and ROCK it OUT for today’s meal. I was careful to make sure that I have all the ingredients on hand to do so, as we won’t be grocery shopping until the weekend. I am actually substituting two items from the recipe, but rather than run out and buy them (with no clear grocery shopping plan), I’m improvising and looking forward to enjoying a tasty meal, found through my Internet travels. Thanks, Silvie!
Want to link up? This social media party is fun, fab, and so varied in who shows up and what they share – it’s a win-win every week.
Friday’s meal will be simple and I planned it that way because it’s the end of the week, we’re all taking a deep breath from our crazy week, and who doesn’t love pizza…
Which frees me up to make my AWEsome Sauce Chili and Cornbread on Saturday (after groceries are planned, bought, and put away). This meal will provide plenty of leftovers (I always double the recipe and freeze several portions, too); which means that Sunday is taken care of, as well. We will supplement with sandwiches (deli meats and cheeses on rounds) throughout, so that we’re not JUST chili this weekend.
You may also note that I’ve filled in one breakfast. At least once a week, we do try to gather together for breakfast; a good way to get us all to that morning table is with my (famous?) Bagel sandwiches. The rest of the week, our schedules simply don’t sync up.
(reading back through this, I’m considering posting a few recipes of my own…but I think I’ll leave most of the recipe building and cooking to Tina!)
Speaking of Tina (The Gluten-Free Foodsmith), she’s got a wealth of dinner ideas over there and without even thinking of it originally, I posted a roundup earlier this week on her blog: 7 Days – 7 Dinners.
(yes, she is okay with me cheating on her with other recipes…we worked it all out the other night during the linkup party; mostly because I couldn’t stop drooling over those meatloaf muffins…)
So, let’s recap this meal planning week.
- We’re in week 8: whole house organization.
- We are meal planning.
- I am highly recommending you stop by HSS101 to get your own tips for organizing this piece of your life.
- I’ve given you several great dinner ideas to begin your planning.
- I’m meal planned out for the next two weeks and it feels GOOD!
Oh, and one last thing…
Taylor from HSS101 also shares some good grocery buying tips (with printables) but G and I use an awesome app called Wunderlist. He found the app about a year ago and it works great for us. We each have it on our phones, we’re synced together, and because it saves your list from week to week – you have a good starting point to gather your ingredients for the week ahead.
3 Things I LOVE about Wunderlist:
- We are synced: when he adds item to the list, it shows up and if I’m shopping alone, I know what’s there and won’t forget something he wanted that I would have otherwise ignored. This works on several levels, as you can add to the list throughout the week when you realize you need (whatever).
- Wunderlist keeps your old list: but not in any annoying way. I can click on our “shopping” list and be able to choose items we buy weekly, to ensure nothing is forgotten. Adding new items to the list is easy, too.
- Checking off as you shop: I admit this silly little game is one of our favorite ways to spice up the grocery shopping (an otherwise boring chore). As you shop, click the item from the list and it disappears (back to your saved shopping list). When alone, it helps me stay focused on needed items, rather than buying lots of impulses.
When G and I go together, we make it a game. He heads to the right, I to the left, and it’s a contest to see who finishes the list first. You HAVE to be checking items off as you go or else you may end up doubling up…
Oh. And if you play this silly little game with G, best keep in mind that he does NOT like it when you check off items that he has placed in the cart. #KeepingHubsHappy101
And there you have it. Week 8: Whole House Organization: Meal Planning. Easy peasy and no one is queasy – it’s all right there. I hope you’ve found several ways to make meal planning easy in your house and please don’t hesitate to share if you have any AWEsome tips and/or tricks regarding this week’s challenge.
All images AWEsomely editing using PicMonkey: crazy-awesome photo editing!
Catch up on 52 Weeks: Whole House Organization: Weeks 1-7 right here!