A Guide to No Fuss Meal Planning
When it comes to cooking often I can find myself trapped in a twisted love hate relationship. I love being in the kitchen but do not necessarily love the whole planning part that has to take place before getting into the kitchen. I have been on a quest for the past several years trying to make meal planning easy, stress free, and quick. It has been quite the journey and I am always learning, but I have some tips that I have picked up along the way that I would like to share with you to help you and your kitchen find yourselves in a more healthy relationship.
A GUIDE TO NO FUSS MEAL PLANNING
1. MAKE IT A TIME YOU LOOK FORWARD TO.
In order to help with the dread of planning I try to make my time special. I set aside time on a Sunday afternoon to be alone to plan. I play music on my laptop, curl up on the couch, or spread out on the dining room table. Coffee or tea of some kind is always included...if I am feeling really in need of some me time I will take the planning party out of the house to a coffee shop. Over all I have found that making it a relaxing environment helps me look forward to time task rather than despise it.
2. FOLLOW A PATTERN
Come up with a formula for selecting your meals and stick to it. If you know what meals work best for your family and schedule, don't reinvent the wheel, stick to what you know. I have a "meal planning formula" that I use every week. It is a loose road map of sorts that keeps me grounded, and serves as a starting point so I never find myself feeling lost from the beginning of the process.
3. TAKE SHORTCUTS
Taking shortcuts is not anything to be ashamed of. As a self proclaimed foodie I often feel that I should make everything from scratch but that often causes me to be more stressed than if I would just lay down my pride and use shortcuts. Grab that box of chicken broth if you don't have time or ingredients to make your own, no shame sister!
Take a day or afternoon to peruse Pinterest or your favorite cookbooks for new recipe ideas. I always do this a few days a week so that when the time comes to plan out my meals I have ideas ready to go.
4. KNOW YOUR "WEAK" DAYS
"Weak Days" are the days that every fiber inside of you wants to run to the nearest Mexican restaurant and stuff your face with queso and chips. For me these days are Friday and Sundays...and sometimes one of the middle week days like Wednesday or Thursday. I have found that I do best planning something fun on Friday nights to keep me from wanting to throw in the towel. So typically we grill out, make homemade pizza or do something out of the ordinary. On Sundays after church I plan for easy meals, 90% of the time the crockpot or breakfast food is involved.
Figure out what days are the hardest for you and come up with a strategy to make them easier to deal with.
5. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
All too often do we find ourselves feeling that we have to be superwoman. This is just not true. You are simply called to manage your household well, and this means getting food on the table the best you know how. So take the steps necessary to make planning easier on yourself, and if you have a rough day and need to order a pizza instead of cook the meal you had planned, DO IT. Be kind to yourself and remember to always give yourself grace to be human.
I am Rachel Cox. I am married to my best friend Benjamin Caleb, and together we live in a small Mississippi town with our little Cockapoo puppy, Piper. I find myself the most content when dancing in the kitchen with my shoes off and something delicious simmering on our stove top. I enjoy creating with my hands more than anything and that looks differently every single day. I find it the greatest privilege and joy that I am able to pursue creativity every single day! I have a passion for anything and everything handmade. I am the face behind the Oh Simple Joys shop and create things with my hands to bring joy to your home and cause others to slow down and savor the small little joys in life. Oh Simple Joys is a place to celebrate life and all the little simple pleasures it has to offer, check out more here.
Connect with Rachel!