Whole Living Gal

In the Kitchen: Meal Planning

I need to spend less money on food. Period. Not that I need to buy cheaper food, but I need to plan better.

It’s difficult to get to the store with two small children, so when I go, I always want to make the most of it. Well, “making the most of it” at every trip gets expensive.

Also, I’ve had a hard time transitioning to post-CSA cooking. I love getting a pile of vegetables every week and having that dictate the meals for the week. Without the CSA as my guide, I feel lost.

These two factors combined have led to me spending too much money on food.

So I’m making some changes. I’m getting back to meal planning for the week. I’ve found what works for me is not dictating what I am making each day, but rather planning 3-4 big meals for the week. Then, I have a choice about what I want to make on a given night depending on my cravings and the type of day I am having (so if I plan to make a crock-pot meal on Tuesday, but am dealing with crying babies all morning and don’t get around to putting the meal together, then I have another option for that night).

I also keep a couple of staples on hand besides the ingredients for the meal so I have options for lunches or a throw-together meal in a pinch. A few of these items include: pb&j, eggs, salad greens, granola/cereal.

This week’s planned meals:

– Whole roast chicken & veggies (I already made this so I can tap into leftovers)
– Chicken/bean/salsa chili (with leftover roast chicken)
– Chicken and vegetable coconut curry (also with leftover roast chicken)
– Hearty spaghetti

I’m excited to have the week’s meals planned out and ingredients purchased. I can rest easier knowing that I have options for the week and am not spending our children’s college savings on our weekly menu.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Beat the Blues with Some Exercise « Whole Living Gal pingbacked on 7 years, 2 months ago


  1. I too have struggled with not having the CSA dictate my menu. so I recently started getting winter veg boxes from Visser farms 🙂

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
    • Wendy – thanks for the tip about Visser farms. I’m going to look into that 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
      • * Luanne says:

        I dont think Visser is organic…I think they get their veggies from all over the universe…at least that’s what I remember from the market…but I could be wrong!

        Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
  2. * Molly says:

    Good idea…I usually plan more than enough meals so I have the ingredients for lots of choices depending on my schedule or mood…this keeps me from the ‘ol let’s “just go out for dinner” syndrome and running to the store mid-week which as you know is never fun with 2 kids! 🙂

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
    • Molly- great idea planning more meals than needed!

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
  3. * Beth says:

    Something that I do that really helps with the “I am in the mood for…..”: If I brown up some ground beef, or roast a chicken, or whatever, I individual portion 2-3 servings of just the meat and freeze it already cooked. I also keep a pretty detailed pantry inventory so I *know* when I have used the last of something, and I replace it right away.

    This way if I really just have to have that chicken enchilada casserole (or whatever it is) I don’t need to set foot in a store to get that “just one thing”. I find that if I go into a store for that just one thing, I leave with $50 of stuff later, especially without a list. I do a shopping by list once a week, and make a milk/eggs/butter run midweek.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
    • Beth – I love this idea of pre-cooking the meat! I’ve never thought about that! I don’t think I’d keep a detailed inventory of anything (though it’s a great idea in theory ;), but I do rummage through my freezer enough to know what I have on hand. THanks!

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
  4. * Luanne says:

    I have not been able to get into a groove since our Christmas chaos started December 17. SO not motivated. Winter has got a serious hold of me here. Hate it. SO COLD. 3 degrees is warm here 🙂

    Although, getting caught up, so hoping the food rhythm falls back into place soon 🙂

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 2 months ago

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