I’ve mentioned before that I am not the type of person who can just throw things together in the kitchen and make a meal out of it. On the contrary, I’m pretty lost without a recipe to follow! Over the years, I’ve realized that this means if I don’t want to be at the grocery store every day, I have to be diligent about meal planning. It can be a pain, but when our fridge is stocked and we know what’s coming up, dinner in our household goes much more smoothly!
After our post-baby meal train ended (best invention ever–we’re so grateful for the sweet friends who made us so many yummy dinners!) and we were left to our own devices again, I found myself completely unmotivated. Looking for recipes, meal planning, making a grocery list, shopping at two stores (we buy produce and meat from Whole Foods and everything else from Food Lion), and then cooking felt totally overwhelming on top of caring for Charlie. After one too many frustrating evenings, I decided we needed to simplify at least one step of that process and came up with our weekly “meal pattern”:
1. A salad
2. A soup/chili
3. Mexican food
4. Chicken and roasted vegetables
5. A crockpot meal
6. Fish or red meat
7. Eating out/miscellaneous
Most of our weeks ended up looking a lot like this anyway, but something about naming the categories and thinking in terms of “a salad” or “a soup/chili” one at a time has made meal planning so much simpler to me. Almost all of our go-to recipes are on my Healthy Food Pinterest board, but if you have a favorite recipe that fits any of our categories, I’d love to hear about it!