You know, sometimes I wish that people’s brains all worked the same way. Okay, not really, but it sure would make meal planning easier. I’ve looked at all sorts of ways to organize meal planning. I’ve created a bridal shower game centered on how to meal plan. I’ve personally created and used several different meal planning systems. What have a learned from all of this? Every meal plan is different.
Admit it, you think it would be easier if someone created an extremely organized system for planning meals that worked for every person’s brain and situation in life. That would be great! I’ve seen simple meal plans and ridiculously complicated meal plans. I’ve seen free ones and grossly expensive ones. I’ve seen everything in between. All I really know from all my research is that none of these systems work well for me.
I have only had one system that worked really well and that I loved. Unfortunately, it’s not one I can use now. Why? Because my husband I and were both in college and we didn’t have any kids (at least not one that was old enough to eat our same food). I made a meal plan for a semester at a time. I made shopping lists a week at a time based on the recipes for that week. I made enough for four and we had the same thing for lunch the next day. It was easy. We only bought what we needed for those week’s meals, plus breakfast (usually cereal), and some snacks (usually baby carrots, pretzels, and something sugary). Oh the simplicity of only feeding two. 🙂
In some ways it is easier now and I definitely don’t waste as much food, but having children really throws a wrench into my meal planning system. Mostly because I have to be more flexible now. I like things that are organized and set in stone. I liked knowing that every meal for a whole semester was already planned. With children, things don’t always go as planned. I’ve tried planning a month in advance and my beautiful, clean-looking calendar has millions of meals crossed out and re-written. Maybe I’m a teensy bit OCD, but I CAN’T handle the cross outs. They drive me nuts.
Sigh, I will conquer meal planning someday. Maybe a brand new set of cheap recipes that are five bucks a meal will help with that. I’ll keep you posted on my meal planning status. For now, enjoy a delicious dinner that is under five dollars.
Loose Beef Hamburgers, ($4.85)
1 lb. ground beef ($2)
1 can chicken broth ($ .90)
1 package hamburger buns ($1.15)
Condiments – ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, etc. ($ .80)
Brown ground beef with the chicken broth. Do not over cook. Drain well and serve on buns with condiments. Serve with a salad or other vegetable. Note: the beef should be loose, not shaped into a patty like most hamburgers.