I was a little hesitant to post Part One of this series because although I broke down meal planning in five steps, I feared that some of my non-type-A friends would still feel intimidated by it! I get that, and I'm back today because I want you to know that you don't need to start out implementing every one of those steps right off the bat. If you're not used to planning meals for the week, take it slow! Start with one or two steps and see how you like it. Adapt and change things up to fit your family and stage of life.
And as a side note, I think these tips apply to anyone college-aged and up. You do not have to be married to implement these strategies! I was a single working girl when I first started planning my meals this way and this system still serves me well with a husband and baby.
Now, I promised I'd share some tips for making the grocery store a little less stressful and how I make sure our house is stocked with plenty of food for the rest of the weeks meals.
- Go on a Monday or Tuesday morning. Avoid the weekends like the plague! Contrary to popular belief, I actually hate the grocery store. More so now that I have a baby. Now if it's Central Market....then that could almost serve as a vacation.
Mmmm...strolling through Central Market sampling gelato and prosciutto.....
okay I'm back.
- As much as you can, try to learn the store. Truth be told, I still am terrible at this. There are some days my mind is worlds away, I'm a sweating mess (um, because I'm carrying a baby around and it's Texas) and I have searched for an embarrassingly long time for the olives!!! I mean, some days just go like that, don't they? But on a typical day I will give my list a glance right as I walk in (or better yet when I'm still in the car) and mentally walk through the store with it. It's so much simpler to tackle the store in one clean sweep than to be going back and forth between aisles.
- I try really hard to limit grocery runs to once a week. I'm usually trying to squeeze it in during my daughters wake time and it kind of feels like a chore! Making a list is helpful for this, but I do forget some things from time to time or realize I want to change something up mid-week and head back out for a quick trip.
- Stick to the list. Don't fall in love with some weird European chocolate or latest super food you heard about. Just stick with the plan and move on. Your wallet will thank you later.
Preparing breakfast, lunch + snacks
- I really don't prep breakfast. As I mentioned in Part One, we have been gravitating towards eggs or oatmeal. Haha...pretty boring I know. Whatever is quick and simple. I do try to have enough bananas on hand to make paleo pancakes on the weekends though. ;)
- Lunch is another thing I don't give too much attention to. For a while I was cooking several additional meals for my husbands lunches! That got crazy and old really quick. Now I try to make sure to make enough during dinner for leftovers, and that serves as lunch for the both of us. A can of tuna and avocado can also make a quick lunch in a pinch.
- Here's a great picture I found on Pinterest that I like to browse to get healthy snack ideas from. They're all pretty simple but sometimes I need an extra reminder of what is good for me. :)
- Some snacking staples you'll find in our home: nut butter and apples, bananas, nuts, berries, hard boiled eggs, or homemade granola.
Pre-washed grapes, carrots and hummus
Here's my snack section of our fridge from the week! These are easy to grab and throw in Jordan's lunch or for myself when I need a pick-me-up.
How about you? I'd love to hear how you meal plan or what tips and tricks you use to simplify!
“Simple Meal Planning: Part Two" is part of a blog relaunch series entitled "31 Days of Responding to Him"
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