I personally love leftovers and eat them for lunches all week, yet I LOVE Kassy's idea of taking a big meal and instead of eating the leftovers all week you cut it in half, freeze it for a busy night's dinner later on down the road.
All photos from Kassy Flagg
1. How long have you been meal planning?
I started meal planning when my husband and I were first married in 2005.
2. When in your week do you meal plan?
I usually make my list on Sunday nights and go to the store on Mondays. This is subject to change based on weather (snow storms), or just any plans in general.
3. Where in the house is your plan kept?
On a calendar in the kitchen.
4. Why do you meal plan? Why is it important to you?
My biggest reason to meal plan is to save money!!
When we were first married my husband was a private first class in the marine corps. We were twenty years old, living in a small apartment outside Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We made around $900 a month, and $400 of that went to rent. We had a dog and a cat and no extra money.
I started making a menu for the week to stretch our dollars and make every left over count for something.
It's just how I've shopped for the past eight years, and it really saves a lot of time, money and that "what do you want for dinner?" battle.
5. What are a few meal items you typically make each week? Or do you have certain nights set for something like breakfast night or leftover or takeout nights? If so, why those particular nights with those foods?
I try to buy different things each week. Another reason I like to plan is that I can look back on what we had last week and change it up. One night a week we have a freezer meal, which is something I've cooked and frozen.
For example if I cook lasagna, I'll make a whole one and freeze half. Same with anything that is typically a big meal since there are two of us and a ten month old sharing.
Then on our busy night I'll just toss in something already made. This also helps to cut costs because I'm not throwing away half a leftover lasagna.
6. What are your tips for other moms who want to start meal planning? What works? What didn't work for you when you started?
Make a list!! I could never shop with out a list. I sit down and write over everything I'll need for the meal and then go to my cabinets and freezer and see what I already have and cross it off. That way I know exactly what I need to buy.
We have a chest freezer in the basement to store extra frozen foods, and I have a white board at the top of the basement stairs with a list of everything in there so I know what I have.
7. How does meal planning help you be a the type of mom you want to be?
It keeps me organized. I take one trip to the store a week, no wasted time going back multiple times, which with a baby in the winter is awesome!!
8. Anything else you want to add?
My calendar in my kitchen is a dry erase calendar, so if we end up going out on a night that we normally wouldn't I just erase that meal and move it to another night. Right now we usually eat out on the weekends, by out I sometimes mean at one of our parent's houses, a friends house, take out or a restaurant.
I really like to meal plan and it's just not work anymore. I feel at this point after eight years it would be more work not to plan everything out!!