Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why I began meal planning...

Michael and I recently became a solid DINK (double income no kids) family. We've had a uncertain last four years or so, but things have recently solidified. With becoming a DINK, we've had to roughly adjust to Michael's new schedule and that means that I have become the primary shopper and chef for the first time in a long time. To make things as efficient and cost-effective as possible, I have begun meal planning. We've done something like this before when Michael was at the helm, but it never worked out the way it was supposed to. Whomever was supposed to cook wouldn't feel like it (usually me) and the whole system would come to a crash. Now, since I have no choice, the system has been working.

I've done the meal planning for the last three weeks and it has worked out great, especially at the grocery store check-out. There were a couple of nights when I didn't feel well, so we relied on leftovers. However, the meals that were planned out were cooked--even if they were for lunch on a day when we didn't have a meal planned (typically Thursdays). Take this past week for example... I wasn't feeling well on Wednesday and that dinner was supposed to be chicken spaghetti. Because we were out of leftovers and Michael didn't have any frozen dinners left, I cooked it (reluctantly) for lunch on Thursday so he could eat lunch and dinner on Thursday. He ended up eating it on Friday too--I was suffering from a stomach bug so I just picked on random stuff. That being said, I had to cook Friday's dinner for lunch and dinner tonight. It worked out perfect since today was a grocery shopping day, and well, I didn't have the energy to make dinner after I braved the grocery store.

So here's this week's menu plan with links. I'll add the gluten free modifications that I am making to each recipe as well. Fortunately, most of them are Paleo based and are naturally gluten free.

Sunday (7/12)- Smoked Sausage Potatoes and Green Beans Foil Packet
I plan to make this one in the oven cooking it on 350 for 20 minutes or so until the potatoes are done. The original recipe is foil packets at the campsite or on the grill, so I'm having to adjust it.

Monday (7/13)- Chicken Enchiladas
Since Monday is Michael's day off he's been tagged to cook. I don't have a link or recipe for these, but hopefully I can get his finely tuned recipe.

Tuesday (7/14)- Barbacoa Tacos and Cilantro and Black Bean Rice with Paleo Coconut Tortillas
These are all three new recipes so we will see. I am cautiously optimistic with the tortillas. I'll have corn tortillas on back up. I did replace the chuck roast with a shoulder roast with week because the shoulder roast was on sale at my local grocery store for $2.97 a pound vs. $4.97 a pound for the chuck roast.

Wednesday (7/15)- Baked Garlic Cheddar Chicken Strips and Mashed Cauliflower
Again, another new recipe. I have high hopes for the mashed cauliflower. I adore mashed potatoes--this is supposed to be a comparable substitute. We shall see.

Thursday (7/16)- I don't cook on Thursdays because it is Father Daughter Date night. I leave Michael to fend for himself on leftovers or frozen meals.

Friday (7/17)- Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet Meal
Again another new recipe....

And then I'll meal plan and shop again on Saturday. I use the local store ads to see what is on sale. 

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