Apparently now that I'm married I'm supposed to do adult things like actually remember people's birthdays and send them cards, or not eat Lucky Charms for dinner (oops). I know it's almost the end of January, but this year I'm really focusing on going back to the basics on what makes me happy and what makes my life easier. And that starts with me actually getting organized so my days go a bit smoother.
In that spirit, I'm starting a new series called Attempting Adulthood, which will force me to get my act together and actually buy a calendar or some groceries. I'm planning for this to be various tips and tricks on organization, running a household (ha, I'll let you know when I figure that one out), and generally doing all the things competent adults can do. For starters: a weekly meal plan!
Most nights either Kacey or I are working late and even though we love cooking, dinner can easily become an afterthought. So we sat down and came up with a weekly schedule that allows us to be creative in the exact meals but gives a great guideline, thus neatly eliminating the "grocery store stop and stare at boxes of processed foods" syndrome.
Monday - Leftovers. We usually have enough time on Saturday or Sunday to make a big meal or two. Since I have dance class on Mondays, leftovers are perfect for us to eat whenever we get home.
Tuesday - Pizza/Takeout. Tuesdays are usually Kacey's guy nights, so I'm off the hook for making dinner. Usually I steal a slice of pizza or else eat leftovers.
Wednesday - Pasta. We love us some pasta, but this can also take the form of a healthier kale stir fry with quinoa which we love. Recipe to come soon! We're also fans of making giant pots of spaghetti sauce to use on those nights where we just don't feel like cooking.
Thursday - Veggies/Fish. Or as Kacey likes to call it "health food night". It's been an interesting balance cooking for two people with very different tastes. I like lighter, healthier foods, while he's definitely a steak and potatoes type of guy. This is my answer to his pizza Tuesdays.
Friday - Chicken. Because I like chicken and it's a pretty healthy meat.
Saturday - Grill/Soups/Stews. Saturdays are usually our day to throw something in the crock pot, make a healthy soup, or grill. Kacey grills in all weather, so winter isn't an issue here for us.
Sunday - Casseroles/Roast. Ok, so I haven't made a roast in a while, but here's another day for us where we have the time to make large, time consuming meals and enjoy their leftovers throughout the week.
Growing up we never had a meal plan, my mom just made whatever she felt like making. But with both of us working, it's easy to put off thinking about dinner until driving home when all you want to do is stuff your face with Taco Bell. (Or is that just me?) This is what works for us. It's not a super healthy vegetarian super foods packed list, nor is it full of fat and carbs. It has lots of options, but still has solid guidelines. It's the balance that works for us. Yours may be different, but the trick is to find something that works. We print this list off and stick it on our fridge. Then we fill in what the actual meal will be for the week and plan our grocery shopping accordingly. Not only does having a weekly dinner menu make things easier, it saves money. This I can live with.