My method of preparation for the week, in regards to food and meals, has always been to do as much as possible on the front end of the week (usually Sunday). This way, Andrew and I are prepared for the week ahead and have plenty of healthy meals and snacks at the ready. I let some of this planning go by the wayside during IVF, when I kicked my PCOS diet to the curb (seriously…. don’t know what I was thinking.)
But now that I’m “all in” again, I am back to the ole’ weekend grocery shopping and meal prep.
I’m sharing this post mostly for my benefit, thinking that sharing my plan will help hold me accountable to sticking to it!
So here is the list Andrew and I took to the grocery store with us over the weekend. Our budget was $75.00. Since I knew the items on our list would not cost $75.00, we also decided to purchase paper towels and toilet paper. And when we still had some wiggle room left in our budget, Andrew picked out a special school snack. He chose trail mix.
This shopping list, along with the items we already have in our pantry, fridge, and freezer, will get us through the week (Sunday through Saturday). This includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for both Andrew and me.
I should note that I only cook dinners for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Friday and Sunday are “wildcard” days (aka: leftovers, salads, or sammies.) Andrew gets out of class around 11am on Fridays, which means that we are often out and about around dinner time. On Saturday, we run errands early in the day and are usually home in time for dinner, so I usually plan a Saturday meal. Sunday is a bit unpredictable, but usually we go out to lunch after church and are not hungry for a big dinner.
I don’t cook dinner on Wednesday because Andrew has class until 5pm, and then goes straight from class to tutoring. He usually does not get home until after 8pm. By this time he would normally be absolutely ravenous, so he stops for dinner on his way from school to tutoring, using his weekly “allowance” for a quick supper.
All of this information is probably excessive… I just wanted you to know what days of the week I cook (or don’t cook) and why!
Here is our dinner schedule for the week:
This was a Wildcard night.
(We ended up going to dinner with one of Andrew’s classmates and his wife.)
(The reason we did not purchase the ground beef that this recipe calls for is because we already had ground venison in the freezer, thanks to a generous classmate of Andrew’s.
Spaghetti squash casserole leftovers.
Not cooking, since Andrew is gone.
For myself, I will make Great Northern White Beans w/ chopped onions. (Thanks, Mama, for this easy meal idea!)
Marinated, grilled backstrap (from the deer Andrew’s classmate gave us),
with a veggie-filled salad.
(This means leftovers, sammies, salads, or eating out.)
Oven baked chicken breast with red potatoes and veggies.
(I have a bag of frozen potatoes and veggies in the freezer, which is why you don’t see these items on the grocery list.)
So, here is what the Sunday food preparation included this week:
- Bake a BIG batch of chicken. This will be used for Saturday’s dinner, but also for lunches throughout the week. I shred it to put on top of salads for myself, and Andrew eats it with brown rice for lunch at school.
- Wash and chop ALL the veggies… I chop all the veggies we buy for the week at once. Otherwise, I don’t usually feel like doing it during the week, which means I end up compromising on the meal plan. Chopping everything immediately also means I have healthy snacks to munch on during the day. (I dip them in peanut butter or hummus.)
- Wash all the fruit. This way, it’s ready to go when we want it!
- Make a BIG batch of protein balls. Andrew takes two or three to school each day, and likes to have them around on the weekends too. I usually double any recipe that I use and store them in the freezer. They freeze well, and taste good frozen or thawed. If you search for protein balls on Google or even on Pinterest, you will find TONS of recipes. It’s easy to find one you like, or to mix and match a few recipes to make your own custom protein ball!
- Make a good-sized batch of brown rice. Andrew will eat this with baked chicken for lunch a few times during the week, and any leftover rice makes a great side with a dinner salad or leftover meat on wildcard nights.
- Scramble a big batch of eggs. Sometimes I hard-boil eggs, but this week I opted for scrambling. I make a big enough batch to have them on hand Monday through Friday, and I eat them for breakfast. During the weekends, I skip on the eggs and make gluten free toast or a smoothie. (Andrew does not share the eggs with me. He is very particular about his eggs, so he makes his own every morning. Since I do not want to have to make eggs EVERY SINGLE MORNING, I make them all at once and then hope they don’t go bad before I get around to eating them!)
- Put the spaghetti squash casserole together. This means I prepare it completely, but stop before actually baking it. Now all I have to do tonight is pop it in the oven!
*** I have several hours to myself every Sunday. After church and lunch Andrew heads to open lab at his school for a few hours, which gives me plenty of time to get the food prep out of the way for the week. I know many of you have children, or have other obligations to tend to on Sunday, so you may not have the leisure of spending hours in the kitchen. You could try making it a family affair: getting everyone involved and invested, and spending quality time together. If that isn’t realistic for your family, you may just have to play with it some and see what works for you, your schedule, your family, and your lifestyle.