Simplifying · Stop the Insanity

Menu Planning for the Non-Planner

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If you remember back to my prior post, I stated publicly that I LOVE planners, but HATE planning.  It is a hard place to be.  Especially when it comes to meal planning.  I so, so, so NEED to meal-plan.  I have so many great printables for meal planning.  Yet, here I sit at 5 p.m. wondering what we’ll have tonight for dinner after having lunch out AGAIN because I didn’t have a plan for that earlier today when I picked my DD up from Art Camp.  It is pathetic.  I am currently revisiting one of my favorite daily “self-help” books, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach and today’s entry was all about meal planning.  And the line that most jumped out at me was

One bit of wisdom for which I’ll be eternally grateful to Nell is her plea that women ‘plan more to work less in the kitchen.’

What a concise and simple way to put it.  Plan more to work less!  I need this in all areas of my life, but especially meal planning.  Not only to save time in the kitchen but to save money (which I work for) by not going out to eat all the time.  So, I’m going to jump into this meal planning thing.  Something I should have done long, long ago.

What now?

But, now that I’ve decided to meal plan, how to go about it in a way that I will absolutely stick with it?  That is the question. I don’t like to cook all that much.  I hate how big of a mess cooking makes when it is complicated.  I also have no patience when it comes to recipes that have what seems like millions of ingredients.  So, I’m going to do a meal plan that is made of recipes that have six or fewer ingredients.  I’m picking six as my cut-off, but will be flexible if the recipe is still very simple but has eight ingredients (e.g. “dump soup” in the crockpot that includes eight items, most in cans).  I’m not promising the healthiest or the cleanest or the prettiest meals, but just about anything we make at home will be as healthy as what we get in the drive thru.  So, I have to balance realism with idealism and choose what will work for me.

So, that is my goal tonight.  To create a meal plan for next week that will keep us out of fast food lines, but will also keep me out of the kitchen for long periods of time (whether cooking or cleaning).  If you have any great recipes that you think will fit the bill, please include them in the comments and I will be sure to note where they are from in my meal plan!  I plan to post my meal plan on Sunday and start it on Monday.  So, be sure to look for that on Sunday!