Getting Back on the Meal-Planning Train — Foodie Friday

by Kristen King

When we moved to Florida in December of last year, we took a month to get settled and then we became organized, meal-planning beasts. I’m not sure when it all fell apart, but we haven’t had a formal meal plan in month and our grocery bill has gone up, up, up as a result. Despite the fact that Jesse has two Herbalife shakes a day for meals and I have at least one, which a saves us a TON of money on those meals. Despite that we are STILL spending way too much on food because we’ve gotten lazy about it.

One major component to our current let’s-be-grownups kick is getting back to meal planning. We even have a designated night of the week for it — every other Thursday (the alternate Thursday is budget night). And we drew a picture of how we’re going to organize our freezer, with shelves labeled by type of meat, veg, and grain. Because yes, we are that awesome.

Our official meal planning kick starts next week, so I’ll be posting meal plans to keep us accountable. We’re also planning to attend free cooking classes and a free shopping-on-a-budget tour at our nearest Whole Foods, so we can get some more ideas.

We’ve been working on clearing out the processed flours and unnecessary gluten from our lives, and we are slowing cutting down on dairy as well. The boys will start transitioning from Lactaid to almond milk this weekend, which I’m really excited about because it’s so much cheaper than Lactaid — even the off-brand lactose-free milk costs a fortune.

Ideally I’d like to be dairy free and gluten free, but I see that as being a long time coming, especially since every time my kids get sick all they want is crackers and “wo-gurt.” And also, I am kind of addicted to butter and crusty bread. One battle at a time.

Are you consistent about meal planning, or does it kind of come and go? What does a typical meal week look like in your house?

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Kristen King (aka, Mommy-in-Training) is a red-headed, glasses-wearing, wine-drinking, perpetually undercaffeinated writer and twin mom from the Tampa metro area, and founder of AmateurParenting.com. She and her husband, Jesse (aka, Daddy-in-Training) have fraternal boys born in December 2011, two dogs, and a cat. They are Independent Herbalife Distributors and Wellness Coaches. Meet the whole AmateurParenting.com team on our About page.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna October 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

We started using eMeals, which gives you recipes for a week along with a grocery list. It’s okay so far. Not all of the recipes we’ll make again but I like that it also includes the sides in the recipes/list so you have a complete meal every time. We also signed up for the breakfasts, which seem to be pretty good so far. I used to cook a lot and enjoy it pre-twins but now it’s hard to transition from making organic baby food to actual organic little people food so this helps.

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2 Damaria Senne December 11, 2013 at 9:09 am

My planning is very haphazard, but there’s a certain logic for it in my head. Each weekend I make 8-9 vegetable dishes which I freeze in meal-sized batches. Dinner is then made up of one cooked vegetable dish from this batch, whatever pickles I made during harvesting time (e.g. onions, cucumber or mango), fresh salads from what I’ve picked from the garden and a meat dish (I try to go for a different animal each week).

Lunch is leftovers from the meal the night before. Breakfast is usually cereal.

Snacks are fresh veggies from my garden, fruit in season and my baking experiments.

It helps that we’re not in the habit of buying takeout much. I probably eat out with friends once or twice a month. My nephew generally makes our pizza maybe twice a month, and Friday is sarmi/burger night.
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