HOw to meal plan for the week ahead
If you are anything like us, your schedule is a busy one! Navigating schedules to make it all “work” can be a full time job in itself! Scot and I found our schedules getting crazier and crazier that when it came to planning dinner, we resorted to relying on Door Dash or the Papa Johns pizza app to carry us through the week. This went on too long and we had to change. Not only for our health, but also our pocket book. Insert, weekly meal planning.
A few months ago, Scot and I started meal planning every Sunday for the week ahead. We would pull out our calendars, and our cook books to see what the week ahead had in store. And Monday – Friday we had a plan for dinner every single night. We left the weekends pretty open but made sure the week days were covered.
This has helped us so much, in more ways than one! We quit buying groceries that were going to waste and actually thought about our grocery list. So together we sit down and look at our schedules for the week. What nights we will both be home for dinner and which nights we will be out. We also plan for leftovers when we know that just one of us will be home with Henry for the night. In addition, we started using the Instacart app to get our groceries delivered every week, which made the whole process even easier!
We go through each recipe chosen for that week one by one and list out the ingredients that we needed. We then cross reference our pantry, fridge and freezer to see what items we already had on hand. If it was something that is needed, I add it to our list in the Instacart app. The whole process typically only takes about 30 minutes, and made the stress over dinner every night, go away. Once we have gone through all the meals and the needed ingredients, I order the food and it gets delivered usually within and hour or two.
We were also looking for some healthier, cleaner and easier meals to cook. I purchased the cookbook True Roots by Kristen Cavallari and love this one for healthy, cleaner meals. One of my absolute favorites from this book is the Avocado Chicken Salad. (see recipe below) Another cookbook we loved for quick meals, was 175 Best Instant Pot Recipes.
We received an Instant Pot last Christmas and used it all winter for quick soups and stews!
AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
2 garlic cloves
1/4 c. chopped red onion
1/2 c. chopped dill
rotisserie chicken (pulled apart and shredded)
1/2 c. mayo
1 avocado smashed
1/2 c. celery chopped
salt and pepper to taste
* mix all ingredients together and chill for 30 min. Serve on bread or on lettuce wraps
I hope that this helps, even just a little bit when preparing for the chaos of the week. Meal Planning has helped us tremendously. Having one less thing to worry about during the day, makes cooking dinner fun again!