Meal Planning Week Two How Did I Do?

Last week I talked about the 6 Ways to make meal planning less complicated.  It was my first week doing a weekly meal plan.  This week I’m going to tell you what worked for me and what needs improvement.

Meal Planning

Last Sunday I sat down with a couple of slices of frozen pizza, my cookbooks, my smart phone and a notebook, determined to plan out our meals for a week.  My hope was to save money, save trips to the store, and to stop the aimless wandering up and down the isles trying to decide what to make for dinner.  I would say we were 85% successful our first time out.

Ways our meal planning was successful

We didn’t go to the store every day. We bought all the food needed to make the dinners on our meal plan in one trip.  I was certain we would have to make another trip to the store at some point during the week for another gallon of milk, or more bottled water but we were not at the store every single day.

We had food in the house for 7 dinners.  I knew on any given night I had everything I needed to prepare my choice of dinners based on the meal plan I made.  I may not have stuck to the schedule, but I did stick to the meals I planned. Mostly.

We were under budget.  I knew what our average cost of buying dinner at the store every day was.  When I made a meal plan for the week, I spent less money per meal.  Sure $130 is significantly more than $25-$30 BUT over the course of a week I would have spent $175-$210 vs the $130.  That’s a significant savings.

There was less junk food in the house.  When you go to the store every single day, you tend to indulge in cravings.  Chocolate, chips, ice cream.  When you plan on going once a week, you don’t have the junk food in the house every single day.

Ways I failed at meal planning

I didn’t stick to the meal plan.  I came down with some horrible chest congestion this week that made it difficult for me to breathe and therefore I felt tired and run down a lot so cooking dinner was not something I was looking forward to, or felt well enough to do.  Friday night it was just me and Zoe, so I picked up a couple of frozen pizzas because I was feeling drained.  The silver lining to this is the meals I have already planned and shopped for will carry over to this week.

I didn’t count on lunches when Sam was off work.  Sam usually gets two days off work and that means there needs to be food to eat for lunch.  Sometimes he’s ok with left overs, and I’ve been making the point that when he’s at work on the weekends Zoe and I have been eating soup and sandwiches and if it’s good enough for us, it’s good enough for him.  But I know I can do better than peanut butter and jelly.

Ways I can improve at meal planning this week

Store ads. This week I had the ads from the grocery stores in our area to use when making the meal plan so I could see what was on sale this week to help save us a little more money.  Last week I didn’t have the ads so this will be one more thing I can consider when planning this week’s meals.

Consider easy to put together meals.  If I continue to feel under the weather, I will need to focus more on crock pot meals, or easy to throw together meals that Sam and Zoe can help me put together.

Last Week’s and This Week’s Meal Plan

Last week’s meal plan consisted of these meals.

  • Crock pot lasagna (carry over to this week)
  • Burgers and fries
  • Tortellini Alfredo
  • One skillet chicken casserole (coming soon to the blog)
  • Tilapia (Carried over to this week)
  • Chili
  • Crock pot potato soup.  This is seriously the best potato soup ever.  Even the left overs heat up nicely. 

This week’s meal plan will be these meals.

What’s on the menu at your house this week?

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About Becky

While control is an illusion, organization helps to manage the chaos of our lives. Becky was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2007. She has found that when her life and home are organized her bipolar mind is less manic. She shares her attempts at managing the chaos of living with her fiance and tweenage step-daughter, while trying to be a good parent to her mostly grown children who live 2 hours away.

4 comments to Meal Planning Week Two: A Recap

  • I had a rough time meal planning too until I found this great web site called http://www.plantoeat.com . They gave me a free 30 days to try it. I really helped me with meal planning because I can add all my recipes to the web site, when I put a recipe on the planner, all the ingredients are put on the shopping list automatically, then you can go through and take off what you already have on hand. Also, when you get the recipes on there, they are drag and drop so you can move things around and it has spaces for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.. I fell in love with it. Have a look and see if it will work for you.

    Love the new blog!

    • Becky

      I need to make the list, write out the meal plan, and have it on a calendar that the family can see. While I appreciate some people can make a grocery list on their phone, I can’t.

      • Oh I can’t either considering my phone does not do that, I usually print mine out and since it uses categories or isles where the things are, it makes my shopping easier. I print out the 2 week ‘plan’ and hang it on the fridge… I had an issue with the what do you want for dinner circle.. LOL

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