When Meal Planning Really Makes a Difference
September 15th, 2012
I got into the habit of meal planning many years ago while studying abroad in Scotland. The grocery store was a verrry long walk up and down some verrrry steep hills. I had no car and was not about to make that trek more than absolutely necessary. Thus, I started building a weekly menu to limit my shopping excursions.
The habit stuck and I continue to draft weekly food plans which I post on the fridge. I don’t always stick to them exactly, but I’ve found they help bring order to our lives. The meal plan makes the biggest difference on busy days. Like today.
We enjoyed a lazy morning munching on home-made cinnamon rolls, then headed to the library. After lunch and naps, the day took off as we embarked on a riverboat cruise along the Kentucky River followed by a short hike with the kiddos.
It was 6:05pm when we arrived home. The temptation to order pizza was strong. But, wait! I had planned tandoori beef kabobs for dinner. And since I’d planned that, the meat was already defrosted and marinated in my fridge. Game on.
Preheat the broiler while boiling water. Throw in the rice and cut up some bell peppers. Kabobs and bell peppers under the broiler while the rice cooks. Chop up a fresh pineapple while the meat and rice cook. Voila! Dinner on the table at 6:35pm.
Planning ahead means that meals come together faster. And it also provides a positive “waste not” pressure on me. The meat was already defrosted. We have mostly-unchangeable dinner plans tomorrow and Monday so if I didn’t cook it tonight, there was a chance I wouldn’t cook it at all. And I was not about to throw away half a pound of yummy beef kabobs!