When I’m factoring in personal preferences, ethics and traditions, allergies and intolerances to food, and random pregnancy food aversions and cravings, for 4.5 people, things can get really complicated really fast.
While we were sick last week, I must have gone to the store 4 or 5 times for supplies and spent a pretty penny with every outing. I now face and overstocked and eclectic kitchen with a refrigerator more intimidating than reassuring. The guilt is intense.
Going to the store more frequently than once-per-week, or going to more than one store in a week, spells financial disaster for me. I think it’s due to my impulse buys.
Today, I intend to take inventory of my kitchen and to build a week-long meal plan to use up supplies before they go bad. Then, in the future, I intend to go grocery shopping on Sundays for the entire week, grocery list in hand. I will work to keep impulse purchases to a minimum.
Vegan Family Meal Planning Made (Somewhat More) Simple
(1) Repeating meals is fine. No one will die from boredom. Repeating meals will save money and time, especially if you batch cook / prep meals. I like to have about 3 staple meals (3 for breakfast, 3 for lunch, 3 for dinner) for a week so that repeats only happen twice per week. (Saturdays are my “day off” so we usually use it as a flex day which may include kitchen raids.)
(2) Whenever possible, make a bigger batch. Then, make sure the left-overs get dispensed in containers after cooling. And eat the left-overs. This might go without saying for most people, but I tend to forget about left-overs unless I make a concerted effort.
(3) I make a chart of meals. Down one side I have 6 days of the week and down the other side, I have 6 meals (includes 3 snacks). Along one side I have shopping list so people can write down anything they see is running low for next week’s shopping trip. I put the chart on the refrigerator and it helps immensely when answering the question: what’s for dinner?
(4) I feel it’s crucial to keep experimenting with new recipes (usually I only do one per week) to keep variety in our diets. Otherwise, I tend to fall upon old worn-out habits that we’re all bored with.
For my more technologically savvy readers. I would like to suggest a fabulous app called: MealPlan. It does require a purchase (this is not sponsored), but it offers just what I’m looking for:
- allows you to map out the meals for the week (and add meals if you’re not a traditional 3-meals-a-day type)
- allows you to organize a grocery list (even by location in the store)
- suggests a grocery list based on your recorded recipes
- allows you to quickly scratch off items not needed or already in cart
- allows you to store recipes
- allows you to arrange the week around your schedule. That is, you can start the week based upon your shopping day.
I hope this helps!
Until next time, keep that talk walking!