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Bringing Back Meal Planning

November 26, 2012

I was at a friend’s house last weekend and noticed her weekly meal plan on the fridge– she is my “awesome organized friend” who manages to hold down a professional career and raise two beautiful kids and make it look easy.

Seriously. I stay at home and find that my chronic lack of organization makes me crazy. I shuffle kids from point A to point B, I make heroic attempts to be at the gym every single week day. I organize play dates, make three beds a day, clean up repetitive kid mess and often find myself staring at the grocery store aisles wondering what to make for dinner and if I do in fact have a spare jar of marinara sitting on my pantry shelf.

Organization, people. Organization.

Taking 10-15 minutes per week to look in the pantry and freezer and then sit down to plan meals saves you three things: time. money. sanity.

Time.

Imagine- One trip to the grocery store instead of three. I love knowing what is in the freezer and pantry so that I can avoid buying the same item over and over….hello great ketchup debacle of 2011??? Four bottles purchased in rapid succession and set to expire before we got around to using them all! If I know what I have and what I plan to purchase then my time is better utilized. No repeat trips. No rifling through cupboards during the week. 

Money

Refer to said ketchup above.  Purchasing what I need from a list and using what I have on hand in the house keeps me from wasting dollars on food that will go bad before we use it.

Sanity

After about 15 minutes of planning, I am set for the week. I will not be rooting through cupboards at dinner time trying to pull a meal together with two hungry kids screaming at me. Bonus-the list is on the fridge in plain sight and everyone knows what’s coming.

This week: search of the freezer revealed frozen tortellini (a kid favorite), pork loin, boneless chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, and pizza. A pantry raid showed some panko crumbs and a bag of sweet potatoes leftover from Thanksgiving. In my fridge: a ripe avocado, some grated parmesan, cheddar, and salad fixings

The Plan:

Meatless Monday: Tortellini with Marinara and Salad

Tuesday: The Pioneer Woman’s ChickenTortilla Soup

Wednesday: Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Thursday: Oven Fried Chicken Tenders with Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

Friday: Pizza Night 

Simple. Kid Friendly. Much healthier than take out!

What’s in your pantry?

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