Okay, it’s Monday. Monday is when a lot of bloggers share their meal plans – Meal Plan Monday. I don’t have a meal plan for you today because I’m only a Meal Plan Monday wannabe…for now. The title of this post might be misleading. I’m not writing this post as someone who is an expert and has this habit down pat. I’m writing meal planning for beginners for me – a beginner.
Meal Planning Series
This is the first of a series on meal planning, be sure to check out the other posts too!
Meal Planning for Beginners: Step One (you are here!)
Meal Planning for Beginners: Step Two, Simple Weekly Menu Plan
Meal Planning for Beginners: Step Three, Groceries and Shopping
Meal Planning for Beginners: Step Four, Essential Pantry Staples
Why is Meal Planning so Hard?
I’ve had children for 13 years now and you would think I would have developed this habit a long time ago. Similar to my sporadic decluttering habits, however, I would meal plan for a week or two, but then resort to making decisions that night or a couple of nights ahead of time. It’s never stuck.
My husband and I have also switched off being the main stay at home parent during our 13 years of child-rearing. Meal planning and cooking has often fallen on the stay at home parent at the time. Neither one of us has ever written down meals for the week consistently. Undoubtedly, we would fall in the NOT natural planners category.
I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t managed to write down a plan for our meals in the past. Is it my personality? Is it just because it’s not a habit I’ve focused on? Is it because it’s not important to me? This blog post cites perfectionism as a reason that some don’t start or sustain meal planning. Whatever the reason, in my efforts to be more intentional, my goal is to start meal planning for dinner one week at a time.
Our Meal Planning Now
This shouldn’t be too hard. My sons have very simple tastes and right now, we cater to what they like and what is simple. We have very simple meals on the days when I work outside the home, Tuesday – Thursday. This is out of necessity. When the school year is in full swing, it’s a good day if I can be home by 6pm. Dinner is usually at 7pm.
On Tuesday-Thursday, we usually have spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, or breakfast food for dinner. The sauce is from a jar and the meatballs are not homemade. We usually have the ingredients for those three meals at all times in our house. They are our go to meals for last-minute dinner plans.
The goal for this season has been simple and quick regarding meals. On my days off I try to plan meals that require a little more prep because I have the time and energy for it.
Meal Planning for Beginners: The First Step
In preparation for dinner meal planning, I’ve brainstormed on a piece of paper all the meals that we have on a regular basis. This list will be the starting point for our weekly meal plans. Maybe when I get the hang of this I’ll throw in a new recipe to try every week.
Step 1: List all of the regular meals that you make in your family.
As we continue our long-term project of decluttering the basement, I’m excited to be working on another habit that I think will simplify our life.
What about you? Do you meal plan? What is the first step you would recommend for us beginners? I’d love to know!