I start my meal planning on Sunday’s of every week. I know that if we don’t have a plan in place we won’t stick to healthy eating. So true, right? So every Sunday evening I start with going through the cupboards to see what we have and what staples we need. Which probably leads me to your first question, “What are your kitchen staples?” Well…you can find all that on my post “Our Pantry Staples.”
So after going through the cupboards I ask Garrett if there is anything he needs or is craving. If he has a request I plan accordingly – he usually doesn’t. I plan to cook three dinners per week, because Garrett has softball on Monday’s we are usually on our own to find something or we eat leftovers. Tuesday’s are dinner at the in-laws so we don’t cook. And that leaves Wed-Sunday to cook 3 dinners and eat leftovers.
We’re really flexible. If I don’t feel like cooking or if I decide we’re just going to eat leftovers, we do. But I only shop for 3 meals a week, because I like fresh fruits and veggies I choose to grocery shop every Sunday evening, usually around 8:30 PM when I can browse the aisles without disturbance. I know, dorky. I love the grocery store. We also have a smaller kitchen with minimal storage so it prevents me from stocking up.
So on this particular Sunday we were completely stocked up on meats after a recent trip to Sam’s Club. I started with asking Garrett for requests, none. Then I look through my recipe book for anything to catch my eye – nothing. Then I go to my blog recipe page and see what I want to make, eh…want something new. Grabbed my Ipad and went to Pinterest – and I landed on a few recipes.
I always make a shopping list. I have these awesome post-it’s from Target that have blank lines under each department at the grocery store. I use these to shop the store easily.
Breakfasts are easy. Let me back up, I make them easy because I don’t give myself enough time to make it hard. I find something I like and stick with it until I get sick. I’ve rotated for the past 9 months between, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt with fruit, toasted whole wheat anything with peanut butter, Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sandwiches or any combination of the previous mentioned. Right now I’ve been on a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter kick. I’m planning on making my steel cut oats again and have that for a week. Go with what you are craving and eat it until you are bored, and then find something new.
I always plan for a mid-morning snack and it’s always a banana. After sever muscle craps a few months back I force myself to eat a banana every day. This is where I get my fruits in. I pack it in my purse every morning.
For lunch I eat either leftovers from supper, make a tossed salad with a TON of fruit and veggies, or chicken sausages from Sam’s Club that I love. My lunches are around 300 calories, and I always have a 200 calorie snack mid-afternoon. My snacks really range from pretzel chips, to fruit, to hummus and carrots, to apples, to a piece of toast with peanut butter on it. I like to get some carbs in before a long run so sometimes I change it up.
In the evenings, we like to snack. My friends are amazed that I eat at 8 PM – 9 PM – and even later. I like to snack in the evening more than any other part of the day. Things I snack on include Wheat Thins with sliced turkey and Swiss cheese, Baked Scoops and salsa, Laughing Cow cheese wedges or Babybel Cheese, fruits, veggies and hummus, a protein shake, and of course my beloved sweet potato fries.
So for this particular week we are going to be having (unless I change my mind which can totally happen):
- Barbie’s Tuna Salad (allrecipes.com) - which I made last night in preparation for Monday night softball. Garrett doesn’t have much time to eat before softball, so this gives us something to eat on our own time.
- Thai Basil Turkey Meatballs
- Pizza Calzone – I’m making this recipe up as I go.
- Tri-Color Summer Pasta Salad – this is not for Garrett and I sadly, I’ll be bringing this to a potluck this week.
And I have a few back ups that i know I have everything in the fridge or freezer in case I’m feeling lazy:
- OMG Chicken
When I go grocery shopping I mostly try to stick to my list. HOWEVER, when you eat healthy, you deserve to try new things and find new favorites. After all, eating healthy isn’t always easy. So finding new things or buying some old favorites can get you excited about snacks for the week. Here is my final grocery items that came home with me:
- 2 packages of Light Babybel Cheese – for snacking
- Sunbird seasoning packets – For those lazy kind of days
- Fresh blueberries – For my steel cut oatmeal
- Sunflower Seeds
- Chia Seeds – I am trying these for the first time. Any Chia lovers are there?
- Red Onion
- Yellow and orange peppers
- Artisan Whole Wheat Crust -Pillsbury just came out with this
- Shredded coconut
- Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding for our sweet tooth cravings
- Fish Sauce -for Thai meatballs
- Organic black beans – I always have these on hand
- Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle
- Whole wheat rotini
- Wheat Thins
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Pop Chips – Something new for us to try. 22 chips for 120 calories.
That is our grocery list for the week – I went and purchased these items yesterday and here they are in all their glory. 3 bags for under $100.00. The tuna salad was fantastic by the way. Yum!
My advice to you for meal planning is make it simple on yourself but don’t succumb to meal plans that have you eating a slice of turkey here and a handful of grape tomatos. You can find lots of interesting recipes and variations to make them right for your house. Start with just a few and in no time you’ll have a stock pile of recipes you enjoy.
What questions do you have about meal planning? How do you decide what to have for supper?
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