Last week we talked cookbooks. Because you are only as strong as your weakest
What we also know to be true: that when I am given the chance, I will make a plan and stick to it. I mean honestly. What do you think I did before we left town? Actioned a meal plan. Because a full fridge and a hot stove are keys to happiness in my opinion.
But it was not always this way. There was a time when I would make a grocery list that involved a generic cast of characters, and then each night I would Iron Chef my way through the ingredients and turn them into my craving of the moment. It was so freeing…and SO EXHAUSTING.
Getting dinner on the table is hard. Period. It is doubly so when you have to spend the better part of the day sourcing a recipe that looks “good” and then try to figure out if you actually have everything you need in the house.
Too much, kittens. Too much.
So we started meal planning. I will be honest, I was deeply hesitant when this first started two-ish years ago. Because what if I was dying for Sesame Chicken AND WE WERE HAVING BAKED POTATOES? WHAT IF?
Here’s the secret, party-people: You are in charge of the plan. If you don’t want to eat it, do not put it on that week’s menu. Tricky.
Some people are really good at forecasting the entire month. I am not that practiced at this dark art and we never grocery shop for more than a week’s worth of groceries at a time (townhouse pantry, people).
So once we have established which nights we will both be home, I write down the days that we will be cooking dinner. And then I turn to my trusty pile of cookbooks and start digging. Some weeks, we cook out of one book exclusively. Other weeks, we only cook new-to-us foods. And yet on others, we only eat meals we have cooked dozens of times already.
It all depends. On what we already have in the house and the other things that we are intending to eat that week. Because even though we do not have a strict grocery budget, we do work to keep things on the lower side of $60-80.
Once the plan has been drawn-up (including notes on when to start thawing different things from the freezer), Marcus hits the stores (sometimes I am allowed to go to the one nearest to us – I am a terribly distracted shopper) and the game is over.
et voila. Meal planning.