Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meal Planning Ideas #2

I have learned that my hubby and I are very lazy cooks. After work we come home and the last thing we want to think about is what we are going to make for dinner. In the past we would resort to Ramon noodles, cereal, something else fattening and unhealthy, or just go out to dinner. As part of our healthy lifestyle goals we have decided to make more meals at home and eat out a lot less. Knowing how lazy we are I had to come up with some ideas to make preparing dinner easier.
Here are some of our ideas.
  1. Use a meal planner (posted yesterday) to plan out healthy meals we both will enjoy and that are easy to make. 
  2. Double recipes and freeze left overs for lunches or days we are to lazy to cook. 
  3. Plan out more slow cooker freezer meals. 
  4. Stop buying convenience foods. 
So last Saturday we made a plan for the next month that included 3 meals each week and a freezer meal. Each meal will provide enough for leftovers that we can freeze for future dinners or use for lunches so we can mix it up and wont be eating the same thing everyday. This also only requires us to cook 3 times a week. 

After grocery shopping I came up with a great idea to help make even those 3 days of cooking easier. I became my own prep chef! 

First I printed out each recipe, then gathered up all the ingredients and placed them with the recipe in a plastic bin. (I only had 2 bins so the 3rd meal I put in a bowl) This way when we have to cook we just pull out the bin and everything we need is there.  I then placed the bins in the fridge. We have a large fridge so there was plenty of room after I did some organizing and through out some of the mystery dishes that I could no longer recognize.  

If you have time you could even pre-measure some of the ingredients and put them in small containers. I got several small plastic containers at the dollar/$0.99 store that were to be used for salad dressing. If you were real energetic you could even prep all the vegetables in advanced. This was too much work for me, I can only handle cutting 1 onion at a time.  

If you don't have room in your fridge, are concerned about storing raw meat with vegetables, or have ingredients that need to be stored in the freezer, clear off a shelf in your pantry  fridge and freezer, and make a not on the recipe as to where to find the items. This is a great way to get husbands and older kids involved with making dinner. 

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