Coffee Break with Katie: That Meal Planning Thing

Posted on December 22, 2010 in Life by Katie Oskin


Some of you wrote to me requesting more information on the meal planning.  It seems that you all liked that idea.  Meal planning is very simple and it’s very easy.  You just have to get in the habit of doing it.  I have built my “meal planning” into my daily Friday chores.
I don’t know about you, but every day I have a “to-do” list.  I have a smart phone, so my phone actually updates my list for me every day.  I have the daily things on that list: empty dish washer, vaccuum, feed the dog, get the mail, etc.  I know some of those are obvious, but it really allows me to feel MORE accomplished at the end of each day.  Then I have some tri-weekly things on M, W, F like laundry, furminate Daisy, dust, pick up clutter, sanitize the kitchen, etc.  Then there’s the weekly things: on Mondays, wash windows…on Tuesday, clean bathroom…on Wednesday, etc, etc, etc.  One of those weekly things is my Friday Meal Planning.
I sit down every Friday morning with a BLANK calendar page that I print off my computer.  This page includes those evenings when we won’t be home, due to meetings, etc.  Then I fill in from my regular calendar my meals, based on how much time I KNOW I’m going to have.  For example, Wednesday is always Bible Study, Choir, and meetings.  So on Wednesday I know hubby and I will have to leave the house early and dinner will be on the “fly” so to speak.  Then “Mac N Cheese” ends up on that calendar space.  Or Friday night is usually date night and I try to make my hubby’s favorite meal, so perhaps “Lasagna, Garlic Bread, & Salad” go on that calendar space.
Last week my calendar looked like this:
  • Sunday – Refrigerator Surprise (Left-overs)
  • Monday – Ham Loaf & Salad
  • Tuesday – Corned Beef Brisket & Potatoes
  • Wednesday – Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
  • Thursday – Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup & Salad
  • Friday – Spaghetti with Meatballs, Garlic Bread, & Salad
  • Saturday – Chicken Hawaii
When I get ready to make my grocery list, I figure out the ingredients I’ll need for each meal.  Then I see if I need them.  For example I have the ham loaf, brisket, and chicken.  From the store this week I need bread, salad, potatoes, & rice for the Chicken Hawaii.
By using this method, not only will you have extra money at the end of the week, but you won’t buy a lot of “unnecessary” items from the grocery.  Always keep quick foods on hand for busy days when you don’t have time to prepare your meal and stock that pantry with them!
  • Ramen Noodles ($2.50 for a box of 12 at WalMart)
  • Cans of Soup (55 cents a can at Aldi’s)
  • Mac N Cheese (35 cents a box at Aldi’s)
Each of the items above can be used to make something else.  For example, use the noodles from the Ramen, add chicken to the top and WAH-LA….instant dinner.  Use cans of soup as a meal itself or top chicken and noodles with cream of mushroom soup!  Use the Mac N Cheese as it is or add ground beef and a sprinkle of parmesan and WAH-LA…another instant dinner.
Do you plan your meals?  Do you budget you spending on food? What works for you?!
2 Comments for this entry
December 22, 2010

>Thanks for the thoughts Christie! I'll have to try that sometime.

Christie Cottage
December 22, 2010

>When I had kids home, I cooked a ton of food one night a month. Everything was frozen. Then on one night, say if we were having spaghetti, I would get out a freezer bag of meatbalss that I had cooked nd frozen in sauce. They would that in the microwave while I cooked the pasta.

It saved so much night and dishes each night. The night I cooked, I washed pots and pans as each item finished. Then the freezer was stocked up.

Have a great day!



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