I've been promising this post to my partner in crime (shout out Shirley!) for some time.
I have to plan my meals for the week, do my shopping, and prep/cook everything during the weekend. If I try to rely on cooking when I get home from work, it just doesn't happen. Ordering Pappa Johns happens. Ordering Golden Chopsticks happens. Ordering pasta bowls from Dominos happens. I think you get the drift.
Just a little planning and prep/cook time saves me from a week of bad decisions brought on by stress and exhaustion.
I start by figuring out how many servings/meals we'll need for the week. On a normal day, we need 4 - lunch for me and hubby (2) plus dinner for me and hubby (2). For this week, most days are normal except for Friday and Saturday. Friday, we both need lunch, but Philip is the only one who needs dinner as I'll be at a scrapbooking retreat in Hocking Hills. I'll still be at the retreat Saturday, so Philip is the only one who needs lunch and dinner. That means we need a total of 27 servings/meals. (I only do 2 for most Saturdays as we normally do our shopping on Saturday.)
Next comes the fun part - what are we going to make?! We really do enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. (Unfortunately, we didn't try that many new things this week as I was trying to use up what we had in the freezer and pantry.) I list the meals and number of servings for each making sure the servings match what we need for the week.
Now it is time to make my list. This is where my OCD really kicks in. I like to make my list by department, usually in the order I approach them in the store. (Actually, that's something I learned from my aunt. I find that I proudly become more and more like her every day.)
As we cook our meals, I separate them into divided containers aiming for half of the container to contain vegetables, fourth to contain a healthy grain, and fourth to contain a lean protein. With everything prepped and in the fridge, all we have to do is grab a container and go.
It takes a little time; but like I said earlier, it saves us money and calories! It is worth it!