Some time ago on my blog I had a page where I posted my dinners for the week. I would plan out a whole week, sometimes two weeks worth of meals. I could plan my grocery shopping and other tasks around what I was going to cook. Made life easy, for me at least.
You see I am not much of a planner. I fly by the seat of my pants on a lot of things. Sometimes not having a plan makes things more fun and spontaneous; sometimes it makes it more stressful. Which isn’t always helpful for me with my anxiety…because frankly I trip out.
I have found though when I do plan out dinners, shop with a list accordingly for those dinners and know how long I need to prepare/cook the meal planned; my days are less stressful.
Now that I have a crock pot again, making dinners has been extremely easy. If I know I am going to have a busy day; I can pop the meal into the pot and know it will be ready when dinner time rolls around. I didn’t realize how much I used my crock pot till I left it in Texas when I moved to California. My loving husband got me another crock pot for Christmas; and it was one of the best gifts ever….that and the Tassimo Coffee maker we got. In fact, most of the crock pot recipes are so easy; my eight year old and thirteen year old can help me with them.
I love to cook however, so I don’t mind spending hours in the kitchen when I have the time. And sometimes, I do…and let’s face it, sometimes I don’t. I love to try new recipes, and had a lot of fun when I did “themed” weeks with dinners. It was fun cooking recipes that included Mexican, Chinese, Thai and French.
Another thing I enjoy about cooking is all of us sitting down at the dinner table to eat together. I have heard so many people say they don’t eat with their husbands or kids. Or that everyone eats at different times, in different places, different rooms. Now perhaps this will change as my kids are getting older and each one of them gets involved in different activities or aspects of their own lives but for now I relish sitting at the table with my husband and three kids to enjoy a meal that I cooked.
And not to brag….okay, yes, I am bragging….I am a pretty good cook.
When I plan meals and have a set idea for what I am making; it helps our grocery bills to be lower as I know exactly what I need to get and am better able to stick to my list. We also eat out less when I cook because we have no reason to go out to eat…and frankly there are times that a home cook meals sounds (and tastes) better to me than going out to eat. On top of that, with five of us…going out to eat costs any where from $80 to $100 a pop.
Meals Planned for the week of January 9 – January 14:
Sunday 1-9 – Bacon Florentine Stuffed Chicken Breast with Basil Pesto Farfalle Pasta noodles
Monday 1-10 – Mu Shu Chicken & rice with cabbage (Crock pot recipe)
Tuesday 1-11 – Roasted Chicken, Scampi Noodles & Sauteed Spinach
Wednesday 1-12 – Baked Potato Soup (Crock pot recipe)
Thursday 1-13 – French Dip Sandwiches (Crock pot recipe)
Now Sammi and I left for Florida on Thursday (1-13) and will be gone a week so I am going to assume (and we know what that does) that my hubby will probably take himself and the boys out over the weekend because it will be easier for him/them than cooking. So with that said….
Friday 1-14 – Eat Out
Saturday 1-15 – Eat Out
Sunday 1-16 – Eat Out
I will be back from Florida on Wednesday and I have planned meals for the Monday and Tuesday in the crock pot because it will be easy for either my husband or Robert to throw into the crock pot before they leave for work and school in the morning and then it will be ready for them when they are home that night. The crock pot I have has a timer on it so you can set it to cook on high or low for X amount of time, and then it goes to a warming stage.
Monday 1-17 – Wonton Soup (Crock pot recipe)
Tuesday 1-18 – General Tso’s Chicken (Crock pot recipe)
I should be back in time Wednesday (1-19) to cook dinner (I say “should” because of the possibility of snow in the town I connect through), and then Thursday (1-20) and Friday (1-21) will be a hodge podge of what ever is left in the house that needs to be used up before grocery shopping again.
And for being a non-planner, I guess I should mention I have meals plan for the week after I get back (1-23 through 1-29) and a grocery list filled out. It just makes things sooooo much easier….does this mean I will be more of a planner for other aspects of my life; probably not, but at least I have one thing covered.