Frugal Meal Planning
Last week I did the cooking for 2 weeks. I’m not a super woman that makes all perfectly portioned meals, but I like at least having part of the meal cooked ahead of time so it doesn’t get to be 5 o’ clock and hubby starts wondering what I’m going to be making…
And in the last week I didn’t have to cook once. Well, maybe I did a few things to add to what I already had frozen to make it a meal but I didn’t actually even have to turn on my oven.
And it was AMAZING.
I don’t know about you but trying a cook a meal from scratch after working a 10 hour day and taking care of a baby isn’t really one of my dreams. I love cooking and baking….just not when I’m tired, overworked, and full of spit up.
So then why is it so hard to do frugal meal planning? The end results are so worth it but still, something tends to get in the way of us doing it each week. Here’s my theories on what it might be.
1. Frugal meal planning takes time. As much as I love drooling over Pinterest food pictures, I somehow don’t like to find the time on Sunday to sit down and make a meal plan.
2. Frugal meal planning takes supplies. Maybe you are one that can come up with a fabulous meal plan and then already have all the stuff to make it work that week. I’m not one of those people. I “shop” once a month when I order from my co-op. Trips to the grocery store during the rest of the month are rare. So my frugal meal planning has to be based off what I have on hand from that one shopping trip, and often it’s not very inspiring.
3. Making new dishes is fun, but sometimes we just want the old standbys. When I first started frugal meal planning I loved added new recipes to my weekly plans…and then when it came to be the day to make them all I was craving was the tried and true good stuff. So there went my frugal meal planning…right out the window.
So what is the solution I’ve come up with to help with these “unmotivated to meal plan” problems?
First of all, I changed my prep day to Saturday. I used to do my make ahead foods on Monday and honestly I’m not sure what I was thinking. Why would I want to have a hectic Monday and then spend the rest of my afternoon cooking? Saturday’s work much better because they are an all around slower paced day. I have time to actually do that cooking and baking and I don’t have to feel rushed.
Second, I stopped trying to plan whole meals. We always seemed to change the plans anyway. At least if I had the main item or meat for the meal ready or planned, we can finish making the meal that evening with what we feel like having. I always have staples on hand like beef, chicken, ect, so I know I don’t need to make any trips to the store. My plans use what I have and only what I have.
And lastly, I stick with the old standbys. I know what we like so why not make it? Even if I do feel motivated to try something new I won’t have wasted anything because I cooked just staples so we can make a “new meal” around those. easy!
Here are some other great articles on meal planning:
What are some things that help you meal plan? For what reasons are you unmotivated to meal plan?