Aaron shared in his post on Resolute Resolutions, that meal planning has been a big part of his success in developing a healthier lifestyle. Being preggers, I’m not currently trying to lose weight, but I still know that meal planning is the difference between home-cooked meals and carry-out.
Maybe you guys are much better at cooking at home without a plan, but for us, I can be pretty sure that if we don’t have a meal plan and stocked fridge going into the week we’re going to be living on Chipotle, Noodles and Co., etc all week which is bad for the wallet and the waistline. Between work and having community meetings more evenings than not, if we haven’t planned and shopped Sunday, we’re not eating until 8/9pm if we try to cook at home and that just doesn’t work.
Sometimes we’re much better than others at meal planning (cough cough… not during my first trimester when all standby recipes sounded about as appealing as eating mud) but we’ve found a few tips and tools that seem to help us get back in the weeknight cooking groove.
I loathe grocery shopping, Aaron likes it, so for the most part, he does our weekly shopping. I appreciate this a lot, since it frees me up for more cooking and cleaning (and more Netflixing). The only trouble is that I’m pretty selective, like I care not only which brand of Tortilla Chips are purchased, but also which style (Tostitos Crispy Rounds pleaseandthankyou) but it goes way beyond tortilla chips. After some trial and error, we learned that it’s most helpful for Aaron to shop when he is armed with a very specific list so he left isn’t standing in an aisle trying to guess which brand of pasta sauce I want or bringing home the wrong thing.
We also have a rotation of recipes we frequently enjoy, they used to be primary housed in my Pinterest boards but that wasn’t super easy for Aaron to access for grocery shopping.
To help with make things easier for shopping and cooking, we’ve tried a couple of different tools for managing recipes and grocery lists and found our favorite: Pepperplate. Have you tried it?
We both have the app on our phones linked to the same account which is handy for accessing the list in the store or a recipe in the kitchen, but the rubber really meets the road in the web version.
It has a really great applet for importing recipes and for most of the major sites (myrecipes, foodnetwork, etc) the importer will do most of the work for you.
I also really love that you can save an edited version, because I am continually tweaking recipes to tailor them to our liking.
And once a recipe is in your Pepperplate you can scale it up or down, add it to your Meal Plan, or get all the ingredients on your grocery list with just a few simple clicks. And it’s completely free!
How do you guys manage weeknight meals? Any tips or tricks to get cooking?