Sunday, January 16, 2011

Meal Planning 101

I've been wanting to try out meal planning for a few months now, so this week, I'm finally giving it a shot. Hubs and I have pretty hectic, and sometimes opposite schedules. I work night shift 7pm-7am three nights a week, and his work hours vary based on the day, week, month, etc., so it's a little difficult to plan. But lately, I kinda feel like I'm not living up to my wifely duties when I work 3 nights in a row and poor hubby has to fend for himself. (Even though he certainly doesn't care whether I make dinner or not, and is fully capable of cooking for himself or finding something to eat!) I like to provide and I like to cook. So I think planning out our meals each week will keep me in check and hopefully save me time and money by cutting down on the frequency of grocery store trips. I also hope to try new recipes in the process and broaden our culinary horizons!

I am starting small here and leaving one night (a working night for me) for leftovers. Here's whats on our menu this week:

Monday: Chicken stir fry with mushrooms, onions, and peppers
Served with brown rice. 

Tuesday: Meatloaf (hubs' fave)
Served with steamed broccoli and rice pilaf.

Wednesday: Whole wheat spaghetti with spicy Italian chicken sausage and homemade red sauce {courtesy of my father in law}
Served with salad.

Thursday: Leftovers.

Friday: Guiness Steaks with horseradish mashed potatoes {I plan to halve this recipe}
A new one for me. Guiness + steak=sure to be a hit with the hubby.

Saturday: Pioneer Woman's Simple, Perfect Chili
It will be my first time trying this recipe as well, but PW never disappoints :)

I found this tool, via Tales of the Trees and plan on filling it out tonight, and heading to the grocery store tomorrow morning. It's a little hard to see, but you can list your meals on the left and your grocery list on the right.

Wish me luck!

18 comments:

modern jane said...

I LOVE the pioneer woman! Good luck!

{av} said...

I'm SO impressed...this is definitely an area where I know I need improvement! You'll have to let us know how the first week goes! By the way, that Guinness recipe would go over perfectly in our house too! Hope the week gets off to a great start, my dear! xoxo {av}

emily said...

I need to be better at meal planning. Looks like you're off to a great start!

Isabella's Mommy.... said...

I need help in this area too. This list is great & I may have to use this myself. I also love Pioneer Woman - she is fabulous. Let us know how this works out for you.

Holly said...

I love that meal planner! So cute! :)

Natalie said...

This is so inspiring, I need to get better about meal planning. Love that template too, thanks so much for sharing!

Sara Louise said...

Good plan! Best of luck! And a beef and Guinness is always a winner with my husband too :-)

Megan said...

YAY!! This is what I am trying to do, too!! I love your first menu week...it sounds delicious!! I definitely know how you feel about not living up to your wifely duties. It's not that my hubby "can't" cook, but he does other things around the house and I feel like I should provide a good, hot meal for him!

Can't wait to see how your meal planning goes!!

Jillian said...

love the meal planner template! we always try to plan out our meals on sundays before we go grocery shopping. spagetti and pizza seem to always make the list but i want to switch things up. i think im going to try to make turkey meatloaf next week. thanks for the inspiration! xoxo jcd

Michelle @ Ten June said...

Great plan! My hubs' favorite is meatloaf too! Such a guys dish :)

Happiness Is... said...

I am a horrible wife and have never gotten into the habit of cooking. In the beginning it was because the husband traveled 5 days a week (that was year 1 of marriage). And then I was used to not cooking and we moved across the country and he was in MBA school...so he had a flexible schedule. Now that we're both working I should do more but am exhausted. I always tease him that if I stayed home I'd be a perfect housewife - ha!

Ashley said...

good luck! thanks for sharing. i've been wanting to do more cooking too - ill definitely have to check this out!

Emily said...

Ohhh yum!! Sounds like a wonderful week of dinners :) I just made my plan: Fish Tacos, Spaghetti, Turkey Burgers, and Chili!! Enjoy the week!

Tay Talk said...

I call a spot at the dinner table on Friday night. Horseradish mashed potatoes is all I need. :)

Faith said...

i always wanted to do the meal planning. i noticed that i couldn't because one day i could be in the mood for something and then it changes.

i still think i should try!

good luck!

Ashley said...

fantastic idea!!!!!!! yesss!

Virginia Belle said...

Your meals this week sound delicious! Especially the Guiness Steaks. It's definitely tough to make meals when you're working night shift. I always plan my leftover meals for the nights I have to work. Good luck and I can't wait to hear how everything goes!

Rhiannon Nicole said...

Oh man!! I gotta step up my wifely duties!! You are GOOD, especially with your hectic work schedule. What a lucky hubby :)