family meal planning
I enjoy meal planning. I actually love to spend a night flipping through cookbooks, researching recipes and catching up on my piles of Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazine. All while sipping a glass of wine and jotting down notes in my journal. The problem is, with three children and a hard working husband I rarely make the time to do this. When I go to the grocery store I just "wing it" and usually never take a list.
Now that we've been eating clean (Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, preservative free) our grocery store bills have sky rocketed. Nobody said eating clean organic food was cheap, but when your husband sits you down with an excel sheet to document how far over budget we are then you really know you're in trouble. Let's just say we had that talk and, over a scheduled meeting and perhaps a glass of wine, we decided that it's time to start meal planning.
I immediately began brainstorming and started to create a calendar on my laptop, but then I remembered my friend Kacie actually dedicated an entire series to this! So, I headed over to her blog and used her calendar and grocery list to get started. I ended up creating my own grocery list that can be catered to the two stores I visit. Plus, I added a section for the farmer's market and a local farm since summer is within reach and I shop local when I can.
We are officially on week two of meal planning and I feel so organized. I keep my recipes in a binder and in the front pocket I keep the schedule. For what feels like the first time ever I stuck to my budget when at the store and I ONLY purchased what was on my list. In addition to everything for our meals I included a few staples like: milk, coconut milk, almond milk, raw honey, almond flour, bread for kids and extra fruit and veggies.
In fact, I'm actually off right now to plan our meals for next week.
How about you? Do you meal plan? Any suggestions? Any recipe recommendations?
You can click below to see a sample of our weekly plan.
On a random note, this is the finished kitchen. I actually have a huge post lined up with before, during and after photos, but I'm taking my good old time posting it.