This past year Jeezy and I have gone through a lot of changes. Bringing Marlowe into the world and deciding that I would take a break from the classroom to stay at home with her were likely the biggest of them all. In an effort to save money and time this year, (it turns out that stay at home moms don’t make any mom and babies take up a lot of time) we have been trying to make a meal plan for the week and shop for the ingredients we need. Prior to this, we found ourselves going to the store almost every day to get a missing ingredient or two. Let’s be honest, who can leave the store with just an item or two? In the end we were throwing in treats and special drinks when they weren’t always needed. Since we started this, I have noticed that we are wasting less food and I get a greater sense of enjoyment out of cooking. It has been such a positive change in our lives.
I always start by looking in the fridge in the cupboards to see what we need to use up. I look to my go to recipes to see if we can use any of the leftover ingredients. If that doesn’t work I look to my favourite food blogs and search for recipes that use those ingredients.
Then usually I will ask Jeezy if he has any dinner requests for the week. He usually names off one or two. I choose a couple and then we are usually ready to make a shopping list. We look at each recipe and put the items on the list. Every week, we get more and more efficient at this routine. I used to attach a meal to a particular day but I found that I liked being able to choose from my list each day. You never know how you will feel on Wednesday, you might want to make the easiest thing on your list or maybe you have lots of energy and you want to try the new recipe out. Our latest trick is dividing the shopping list into sections – refrigerated item, produce, Non-perishable items. When we do it that way, we don’t end up running back and forth through the store for forgotten items.
Once the list is created, I always double check that we don’t already have some of the items on the list. Lastly, I add our weekly necessities like fruit, oatmeal, milk etc. Then are ready to hit the store. We don’t have a car in Hong Kong, so we stick to our closest grocery store and bring our bag on wheels to transport it all home. Sometimes we shop as a family and other times I hand the list to Jeezy and let him have at it.
If we try a new recipe and it is a success, we add it to our list of favourite recipes. Having a list of recipes that you love makes meal planning a heck of a lot faster and easier. Every week our list gets just a little bit longer and our meals get more delicious!
In case you are looking for some great recipes, these are our top ten recipes:
(I have hyper linked the recipes that we use)
Top Ten Favourite Recipes in no particular order:
Pizza with whatever you want on it (homemade dough)
I am taking part in twowritingteachers.com Slice of Life Challenge for the Month of March. Come and join us!