Welcome to How I Eat: Meal Planning for Normal People. (If you missed it, click over to read more about this series on The Pajama Chef.) This series is meant to inspire readers (and myself!) with tips and tricks for meal planning and getting dinner on the table. Whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd, I firmly believe that good food shouldn’t be sacrificed just because life is busy.
Today’s feature on How I Eat is Morgan of My Confetti Life. Morgan lives in the Nashville area, and is a fellow contributor to Nashville Moms Blog. She’s also married to a Ben, her college sweetheart, and is mama to three cute kiddos. Through her blog she shares her life, family, food, faith, and more. It’s my pleasure to share her approach to meal planning today!
Tell us about yourself. Who are you cooking for? What else influences how you get meals on the table?
I am cooking for an easy to please husband and two picky toddlers, ages 3 and 5. My husband came from a family where his mom would fix a entrée and two or more sides and a dessert. Our weekly grocery budget does not allow for that, so I pick meals that have low cost ingredients or meals that I know we will have leftovers from. I am a stay at home mom and I love being in the kitchen so I do not mind a little prep work.
What meals do you plan?
- Snacks, Desserts, etc.
In a typical week, approximately how many meals per week do you plan to eat at home or prepare to take with you (e.g., to work or school)? No shame… curious minds want to know! For this, I would include any food purchased at the grocery store (e.g., rotisserie chicken, bagged salad mix, etc.) but not takeout.
- 16-18: I eat out 3-5 times per week, maybe a few days for lunch or so.
What is your basic meal planning method?
I write down the days of the week. I fill in meals that we plan to eat out. I then scroll through my Pinterest for dinner ideas. I usually make 3 classic meals then try something new for the other 2 or 3.
What are your favorite weeknight meals?
What are your “no-brainer” meals? Or what meals do you make when there’s “nothing” to eat?
Grilled cheese! Sometimes with bacon.
Do you use any tools to help you create your meal plan and/or execute it?
- Paper meal planner of some type
What is your best advice for someone who is just starting to meal plan?
Weekly meal planning is amazing, it takes a little effort to get the hang of it. I base the order of the meals we eat off of the produce and its shelf life.
Anything else you want to add?
Kroger ClickList is an awesome meal planning tool. I plan my meals and order the groceries all at the same time.
Thank you, Morgan! I like your tip about planning menus while thinking of the produce/ingredient shelf life. For that reason I’ve lately been planning meals with frozen veggies for the end of the week, or choosing to have our weekly meal out on Friday night when we’re almost out of groceries. I also agree, ClickList is great! I don’t use it every week but occasionally it is a lifesaver. Great idea to plan and shop simultaneously! Thanks for sharing your strategies with us!!