Saturday, September 28, 2013

Is it Possible to Make Meal Planning Easy

Diana here:
*--just an alert I have new glasses and there may be typos here. :)

Back to my post!

Do you find dinner time stressful?

I do. I used to be good at planning menus and even cooking for a month. Then BOOM we were empty nesters and the world was our restaurant. Surely we reasoned it was cheaper for two people to eat out than to cook especially if you added in the time to plan, shop and chop.

Guess what? It's not. Not only does it cost more let me tell you that lifestyle messes with your body weight. I was a hot mess! Exercise became mandatory! Shudder!

Then I found Dr. Mel and her menu planning system! Oh boy--yeah, my first thought was here we go another thing to figure out and it's going to take me forever. I do like the idea of organizing--or rather buying things to organize, starting with a clipboard, a label maker and maybe a few containers... Sorry I went shopping there for a moment.

Back to Dr. Mel--she has SIX kids and she homeschools, writes books and hosts is starting a podcast, so I know she doesn't have hours of free time to do meal planning. So this week I snagged her free book The Once and For All Meal Plan.
once and for all meal plan
I've read through it and am already working on planning my menus. It is so easy and makes so much sense. Here's one suggestion--write down what you cook for a month during that month so you know what you are cooking. Brilliant, right? I've always been overwhelmed with the systems that tell me to make meals that we will eat. I could never remember what I'd made, or that anyone really liked because....confession time...I am a recipe/cookbook hoarder. Don't believe me check out my best gluten free recipes and convert to gluten free recipes on my pinterest board.  I'm secretly hoping that link doesn't work. It's like offering to show someone your closets when you aren't moving.

 Dr. Mel's book told me how to collect the (math term alert) data  and how to use the information.

Remember the book is free right now if you sign up for her newsletter. What do you have to lose but less time working your brain on answering the question, "What's for dinner?"

I just got one step closer to being that Proverbs 31 woman.(Too bad there are 1000 more steps to go before I get to be her!)

Do you have trouble with meal planning? Click to tweet!


  1. I find it challenging to cook for 2, especially for a husband who has unusual eating habits. When I do cook, there is enough leftovers for the remainder of the week. Maybe if I plan menus I'll find ways to use those leftovers!

    1. Edwina,
      That is my challenge as well cooking for tow after learning to cook for 5 has it's challenges.

      I do freeze a lot of our left overs or figgure a way to
      Eat them in a different way. I make a pot of salsa chicken and the leftovers become stars on nachos, baked pototes and sometimes salad. Allrecipes should have a recipe for slow cooker or crockpot salsa chicken

  2. I'll check it out! Although, I'll have to write down spaghetti over and over and over...


    1. Missy, that would have been my reply too but now that I see I do make more meals than I thought I can rotate a little more often. Dr. Mel does say having those qick go to meals on the meal plan is important.

  3. It's funny that it's harder to cook for 2 than 12 or more. We've been empty nesters now for a couple of years. I find that if I make a large meal like I would for our family, then I can store it for other meals. That helps economically and for my stress level. Because you know what?? I am busier now than when I had 6 kids and all the other friends at home! I like this idea, Diana, and am going to check it out.

    1. Angie, I hope you find it helpful. I'm still working on parts of the book. I like how my plan is coming together. I really don't need thirty cookbooks. :$