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Making a Meal Plan – It’s Elementary

Posted By Jessica Fisher On January 5, 2009 @ 12:27 pm In Meal Planning | 6 Comments

Last week on our way to the beach [5], I quizzed my men about their favorite meals. Shrimp was high on the list. So was steak. I saw that I had to modify my line of questioning, “What’s your favorite cheap meal?” Then I got answers like, “Costco Pizza” — from the Big Man. And, of course, a debate ensued about what a relative term cheap is.

But, at the end, I got what I wanted: a month’s list of meals [6] that will, more or less, please the general population. And, if you notice number 29, FishPapa’s birthday feast will include tri-tip and a skewer of shrimp for each.

Meal planning is an elementary [7] component of home management. It’s really a very logical principle – it gives you inspiration, direction, and helps you head off problems at the pass. For instance, if you have a meal plan, you know when to start preparing dinner. You know what ingredients you need to get at the store ahead of time, bypassing a last minute run which can be stressful or expensive. With a little foresight, mealtime can be pleasant and relaxing.

Meal planning a month at a time has been really helpful. The plan doesn’t always come exactly to fruition, but it’s a good target to have. It also gives me a broad view of my storehouses and I can think about grocery shopping in the big picture. Aside from some fresh produce, refills on milk, and a few packages of meat, I pretty much have all that we need for the month, thanks to my last Costco trip [8] and my stockpile [9]. I’m hoping that it will be a relaxing month. Having done so much planning and shopping, I think my chances are good — at least where food is concerned.

(I must say that adjusting my shopping plan [8] has really eased some pressure. Last night I “did the deals” at CVS — for fun — rather than other motives [10]. And it was just that — fun! )

Here’s this week’s portion of our list of Meal Plans for January.

5. Turkey Tortilla Casserole [11], beans, and rice
6. Turkey Pot Pie [12], green salad
7. Potstickers, rice, broccoli
8. Bean burritos
9. Baked Chicken, roasted potatoes, veg
10. Pizza [13] and salad
11. Chicken Quesadillas, Salad, Beans, and Rice

If you don’t have a plan, you should! Look through your cupboards and make a list of what you could cook with what you have. Write those meals down. Stick it on the fridge. Now you have a plan! It’s really pretty easy.

Do you struggle with meal planning? Why? Let us know in the comments section. We’ll put our heads together and help you solve that dilemma.

For more meal planning inspiration, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie [14] every Monday.

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[5] the beach: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/01/happy-new-year-show-and-tell.html

[6] a month’s list of meals: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddfg56z9_15c9j4bkhp

[7] elementary: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/elementary

[8] my last Costco trip: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/01/grocery-geek-presents-our-grocery-plan.html

[9] my stockpile: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/10/stocking-up.html

[10] other motives: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/01/budget-living-its-not-race.html

[11] Tortilla Casserole: http://jamiegetskow.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-year-new-old-school-food.html

[12] Pot Pie: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/08/recipe-swap-whats-dish-that-you-deliver.html

[13] Pizza: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/07/tgif-make-homemade-pizza.html

[14] I’m an Organizing Junkie: http://orgjunkie.com/

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