EFFECTIVE MEAL PLANNING

I have to admit, I have a hard time ditching take out to cook for the week.  As a part of my transition to a minimal lifestyle, eating out so often is coming to an end.  It's best for my diet and my wallet. 

In this post, I'm sharing a few tips that has helped me become successful this past week.

FRIDAY'S RESEARCH

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Pinterest is my best friend and favorite social media app (shhh don't tell Instagram).  You can find any recipe, for any diet, from anywhere in the world!  On Fridays, I find recipes I would like to prepare for the next week.  When searching for a recipe, it's about personal preference. 

My preferences? 

  • I'm a pescatarian, so obviously, most of my recipes will involve seafood. 
  • Low caloric and can be prepared in under 30 minutes. 
  • I look for recipes with ingredients where I can re-use in at least 2 other recipes.   I do this to avoid having random spices and oils in my pantry that will go unused for months. 
  • It has to be freezable. 

SATURDAY PREP

I use a weekly calendar to list what I'm cooking for the week using a basic strategy that revolves around my work schedule.  I have a full time career, so when I get home after fighting crowded trains and buses in NYC, I have no energy to cook a 30-minute meal!  Therefore, I usually cook the longer meals at the beginning of the week (Sunday or Monday evenings).  Twenty-minute meals are usually on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and the quickest meals on Thursday.  I treat myself on Friday.  And Saturday, I have a "wild card" meal.  The wild card meal is something that wasn't in the plan or a meal that takes longer than 30 minutes to prepare.

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COOKING & JAZZ SUNDAY

I love to cook!  Sunday is the day that I'm usually well rested and can spend an afternoon cooking dinner for the day as well as lunch for Monday.  To set good vibes in my apartment, I turn on jazz music, and go to work! 

Want to try it? Here's a free editable meal planner and grocery list!