If you don’t already know, I am a total tight wad. I have not always been but between my husband and Dave Ramsey I have become one. This is one of the main reasons I am so uptight about my meal planning and grocery store trips. I hate standing in front of the fridge at 4 in the afternoon thinking… What the heck am I going to cook? I don’t have meat thawed…. don’t I have pizza coupons somewhere? How much money do we have in the grocery envelope? (Dave Ramsey reference, yes we do cash envelopes.. changed our lives) Come on, we have all done it. Or the classic argument, really the biggest and one of the only arguments my husband and I have.. What do you want? I don’t care.. what do you want? I dont care. Ahhh! Enough to drive anyone crazy. SO I developed my menu plan and to be totally honest.. I dont think we have had a single argument about what to eat. If we go out… and where…. that’s a different story.
Now I am a stay at home mom and when we decided I could stay home with our son I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. I’m home all day.. my house should be clean, I should be able to have dinner and a smile on my face with perfect hair and makeup each day when the husband gets home. Ya’ll I love love love being a wife and mom. I was made for it. However, the way I pictured it in my head and the way it actually looks makes me laugh out loud. Thank Heaven for coffee, yoga pants and dry shampoo. I know every stay at home mom talks like that but it’s totally real life. My husband can tell what kind of day we have had by taking one look at me and my attire. (and whether or not I have already poured myself a tall glass of wine!) Squirrel.. back to my meal plan prep.
Each week, usually on Monday because I am too exhausted and cleaning house on Sunday, I get the local sale ads out, my recipe books, laptop and get to it. Sometimes my husband makes a request and that’s AWESOME but most of the time it’s just me and guessing what the family will eat. Plus side… if they don’t help? They eat it or have leftovers. That’s the rule in my house. Or if its horrible we go to Braums and have ice cream for dinner. I love trying all new things, very rarely do I have the same thing on the menu 2 weeks in a row. Here is how my meal planning usually goes…. Greasy hair and sweats.. at least I have on the mascara! First I pick out 5 dinners I like for the week, 1 lunch and 1 breakfast. We both eat 3 meals a day at home. I love casseroles and left overs. Sometimes I can get everything out of my books and that makes it easier, other times I browse Pinterest and cross my fingers they are not a fail. I have my top favorite people I follow and you will notice by my posts who those favorites are.
Once I have my 5 menu items, lunch and breakfast then its my grocery list. I go through each recipe and write down things that I need and don’t have currently in my house. Make a list and that is my groccery list. Now.. I am one of those crazy people with a touch of OCD so based on my coupons and sales I will go to 3 maybe 4 groccery stores to get all of the things on my list. I rewrite the list by groccery store and by department. (No, I am not joking. When I go Monday I will post pictures) You do not have to do this, but let me tell you it can be done!! If you go to Sprouts first, walk straight into the bakery and say.. Can my son have a cookie? If you are fast enough with your list you can get your things and to the checkout by the time your kiddo finishes their cookie. Next I go to Reasors.. they have the shopping carts with the car on the bottom. Drake will just now sit and ride it in (drive) and not crawl out and race around the store. Also, most deli counters will give you cheese samples. What kid doesn’t love cheese? We are on a first name basis with our cheese guy at Reasors. Joshua sees us coming and says hey Drake! Lastly we go to Costco (Their avocados are huge, cheap and perfect every time!) If you go at just the right time.. around 2 or 3 you can get all sorts of samples for your kiddo and they can’t eat it fast enough. I am telling you.. there are tricks. Also, if I do this all in one day, we both sleep awesome that night! Usually I will get a rotisserie chicken and put it on a salad that night and throughout the week. Easy peasy and I dont have to cook after a day traveling to 3 groccery stores.
Now that you have all of your groceries and a list of 5 dinners posted you can choose from those 5 and by Friday you don’t even have to question yourself. Now there are 7 days in a week, but left overs are just fine with us. Cassie Joy Garcia – Fed and Fit changed the way I eat leftovers. She said.. you re-heat it the way you cooked it. It’s so much a duh thing but I never thought about it. They are not so leftover mush anymore. I can’t do mushy food. If I have anything left over in the fridge it usually ends up in a weekend breakfast hash. Delicious! You will see me make a lot of those. Enjoy your food, try new things and modify to your own taste. Experiment! Remember, if your dinner is an epic fail you are allowed to have ice cream for dinner! 🙂 You are not alone!
A side note about Paleo.. you will have to invest in some staple items that are not cheap. Red Boat Fish sauce, Coconut Aminos, Coconut Flour and Avocado Oil are my top 4 things I use most. On the positive side, these are DELICIOUS AND you don’t have to use much like you would other seasonings and spices. Almost all of my veggies and fresh things come from Sprouts. Their coconut aminos is cheaper than Reasor’s. Avocado Oil at Costco is insanely cheap. I buy my Coconut oil there too literally in a giant tub. Reasor’s always has good meat sales, unless Sprouts is having chicken on sale. Red Boat Fish Sauce and Coconut Flour I buy in bulk on Amazon. If you buy your flours in a resealable bag, you can stick it in the freezer and it will keep for a very very long time!
I am a country girl at heart. I grew up in a town with a Walmart and Homeland and everyone within a 50 mile radius came here to get groceries. I understand that not everyone has Sprouts, Reasors and Costco in their back pocket. Trust me, if we could make a living and live completely off the grid.. we would be in the backwoods in Missoula MT. A girl can dream.. our families would barricade the drive and never let us go.. 🙂 Walmart has a good selection of fresh produce, however IF you can get an Aldi they have great stuff and awesome deals! A lot of the not fresh veggies you can get online for cheaper.
I have not mentioned Whole Foods. To be honest, I don’t go. I am on a very tight food budget and while they may have cheap things and good sales, my self control cannot handle that store. I am too kid in a candy store and just can’t. Plus everyone there seems to have their crap together and I walk around singing Paw Patrol or Daniel Tiger or Choo Choo songs to keep my kid laughing. All of those hipsters give me crazy looks. … My husband has a beard, wood works drinks PBR, I have an organic garden and drive a Subaru.. I am allowed to make hipster jokes!
If this is your life, own it..enjoy every second. Let them help! It will make them really help you sooner without growing up too fast.