Vermont, Summer 2011

When we're on top of our game, Hank and I will take Sunday night and plan out what we want to eat for dinner over the next week. This is awesome on so many levels. For one, it makes my weekly food shopping so much more focused and two, it keeps us on the same page. There are so many times when I'll want to make something for dinner only to have Hank come home and tell me he already went out for said food for lunch. This way we're organized, can look forward to delicious meals, and we have a lot of fun cooking together too.  Hank takes leftovers to work, or Henry will have them for his lunch or dinner the next day, so it saves us a lot of money (and time!). 

Below you'll find our plan for this next week. All of the meals are homemade outside of a few of the products that go into the meals. Tonight we'll be traveling and just end up grabbing something random when we get home, so this week is just a four-day plan.

Dinner 1 (Tuesday): Spaghetti and vegetarian meatballs w/semi-homemade sauce and garlic bread/salad
Dinner 2 (Wednesday): Bean, cheese, and veggie burritos w/guacamole
Dinner 3 (Thursday): Brown rice and veggie stirfry
Dinner 4 (Friday): Vegetarian Pot Pies (using Quorn "chicken") w/salad

From here I then break it down to a shopping list based on what we have and what we need after a simple look in the pantry and fridge.  Once you make lists like this for a couple of weeks you become very aware of all of the food you have that you don't use, food you buy that goes to waste, etc. I love the mindfulness meal-planning gives me. Another bonus is that usually a couple of the days will have overlapping items and this saves money too- simply reserve enough of whatever item you'll need again and you can get two or even three meals out of it.  For instance we will use many of the same vegetables in meal one, two, and three, and then again with our salads.

Here's this week's shopping list- things we need for our meals that we don't already have at home. Always be sure to check for available grocery coupons too. 

veggie meatballs (you can also make your own)
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
yellow onion
cherry tomatoes
3 avocados
salad greens
block of sharp cheddar
loaf of French bread

And that's it! We try to buy organic whenever we can, so most of our shopping is done at our local natural grocer but I'm always sure to check the ads and buy as much as I can on sale.

Do you meal-plan? If not, this is the perfect time to start! If you're interested, my friend Rachel did an informative post on how she meal plans, and it's a great read. I'll also be sharing our meal ideas throughout the week if you guys would like, so let me know if that's something you'd enjoy reading about. We usually don't cook anything super complicated or crazy, but we do keep it very healthy and typically vegan or vegetarian. 

Have a great Monday!