I often have friends and neighbors tell me they’re envious of the meals we make, and that they could never have enough time to make the things we make. Uhm, K and I both work full time, we have a 5 month old baby and 4 dogs, so I’m pretty sure we’re just as busy, it’s all about priorities and time management, and just doing it.
Meal Planning is a work in progress for us, still, but it’s something we do each month. I use Google Docs, and share it with K so he can see what we have planned for each month. I plan our dinners, with how many meals they’ll feed us both, then separate lunches for both of us, as I’m pickier than him. Then, I plan our weekly breakfast, and one weekend breakfast for us, and I do this for each week. I also have a whiteboard menu on the fridge, and I write our dinners and lunches on it, updating each week, so we know what food is planned for that week.
Before the beginning of a new month I sit down with my laptop, pinterest and other websites open for recipes, cookbooks strewn everywhere, and spend a good 4-5 hours planning food. You could probably spend much less time, but we love to try new things, so I’m always looking for new things, and trying to plan on using similar ingredients so we can stretch everything as far as it’ll go.
We then go grocery shopping in batches, once every two weeks with maybe 1 trip in between to get some perishables like spinach or milk. We try really hard to stick to this, and to plan meals around basics that we have in our pantry to keep costs down, and still be able to try out a few fun, new things each month.
We spend some time on Saturday and Sunday each week meal prepping. We get K’s lunches ready for the next week on Saturday, and prepare dinner. Then, on Sunday we get my lunches ready for the next week, as well as prepping any breakfast or snack items we can. Meal prepping varies in time for us, as some days A is perfectly content to be in her bouncer and watch, and other times she insists on being held, so I wear her, then cover us both with an apron and go a bit slower.
I like to split my meal prepping over two days so I still feel like I get a bit of a weekend. Then, on Wednesday or Thursday we make dinner again, and prep any food needed for the rest of the week. It really isn’t as time consuming as everyone seems to think, and totally helps keep us sane. Plus, it lets us try out new foods, and not repeat foods too often, which is huge for me. I don’t like repeating foods unless it’s been 3-4 months, or I get super bored.
It’s definitely a process and takes a bit to get started, but that’s how we do it! I’d love to hear what works for you. :]