I don’t have the kind of life where I can swing by the store in the middle of the week; leaving the house is always a voyage of epic proportions, even if it’s just to check the mail. And because I always count the milliseconds until my husband gets home in the evening, it’s painful to have him get home later, even if it’s 20 minutes for a quick store trip. So after I get my meals planned, I shop for everything we need during the weekend, so that I don’t have to disrupt our week with trips to the store.
9. I think carefully about how to use leftovers.
Before I put leftover food away at the end of the night, I think about how it would be best used. I do some combination of:
- Storing a large quantity in the freezer for a future dinner.
- Storing a large quantity in the fridge for another dinner this week.
- Sending some to work with my husband.
- Freezing small portions in Ziplock snack baggies for easy lunches.
Again, this step is probably obvious to other people, but I used to find that too often I was just throwing extra food in the refrigerator without thinking about how to use it, and then I’d forget about it and it would go bad.
So that’s it: the meal planning system that has served me well week after week, through all sorts of chaos. If you have any good meal planning tips, I’d love to hear them!
Jennifer Fulwiler is a programmer-turned-writer who chronicles her experiences of faith, motherhood and a never-ending scorpion infestation on her blog, ConversionDiary.com. She was the subject of the reality show "Minor Revisions," and her memoir will be released by Ignatius Press in 2014. She and her husband live in Austin, Texas, with their six young children and a one-eyed cat.
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