If you’ve known me for long, or follow any of my social media accounts, you have probably, at some point, wondered how I manage to make so many different meals that are healthy, unique, delicious and pretty. Well, maybe YOU haven’t, but I do get asked quite frequently.
I don’t do very many things well, but I can cook and I don’t feel bad saying it with confidence. I think about food all the time. And not just junk food-like products, convenience and packaged items, or fast food. Even restaurant meals usually leave The Mr. and I sighing because “I/You could make this better at home.”
I mean I obsess about the real stuff. The kinds of whole foods that I can pronounce and how I can mix them with other real foods and create something amazing. (Or, to be honest, mediocre.)
I experiment. I fail. I succeed. I stamp my foot like a 3-year-old and growl or sit back and smile when my family and friends say, “Mmm, mmm, yum.”
How do I do it? How do make all this stuff while raising 3 kids, keeping a marriage together, maintaining a home, taking care of pets, and managing some sort of social life? Cooking nearly all my meals from scratch while gobbling up novels, keeping up with TV shows and movies and homeschooling an 8th grader?
And on a weekly budget of $175 for 5 people?
I plan. I mean, like, I plan a LOT. A ridiculous amount, if you must know. I spend hours every week looking at recipes, reading cookbooks and magazines, stalking food bloggers, listening to podcasts, and sketching out meal plans and grocery lists.
Since the fall schedule slammed into place I’ve had a little trouble sticking to the health routine I put into place over the summer. When I’ve allotted 30 minutes for a lesson lunch break I haven’t felt like spending half of it making a veggie stir fry, so I’ve been grabbing a sandwich or a granola bar.
Or an ice cream.
It’s not going very well for my waistline and energy level.
So I decided to try out the weekly food prepping method I’ve seen other people do. I used to turn my nose up at this idea, but I’m coming around to the value of it. I did a lot of Pinterest and blog searching and jumped in head first. Because I’m such an obsessive planner my first week went really well. I made veggie hashes and yogurt/granola breakfasts, stirfrys and salads for lunch, and smoothies for snacks. Everything turned out GREAT. A couple of hours in the evening and I barely lifted a finger the rest of the week (Except for dinners. I didn’t pre-prep dinners because that’s not usually a time problem.)
I’m now in my second week and I think it’s going even better, so I’d like to share my plan. I’m still making a few tweaks here and there (note previous admission of planning obsession) to make sure it’s as close to perfect for you as I can make it.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the week and, withstanding natural disaster or family catastrophe, I will have a whole plan of breakfasts, lunches and snacks, including a shopping list and step-by-step instructions, available on Friday!
(If you want to be notified when the plan is up and ready, just sign up for my blog [top right corner] and you’ll get an email.)