12 changes: February goal

I’ve never been much of a meal planner. To be quite honest, deciding what I will eat a few days down the line, seemed pretty much impossible so far.  I eat with gusto and therefore I like to eat what I feel like eating when I feel like eating it. I guess,  I am not very “disciplined” when it comes to eating (and luckily I never had to be). I think I do make smart choices for the most part, but I have never thought much of planning in advance what I eat. See also: I am lazy.

So, you might think that this can either mean one of two things:

a) I have to go to the store every day to pick up stuff I need for cooking dinner, or

b) I eat out a lot.

This is both not true. I even like to go so far as to say that I know my pantry/fridge staples very well and I hardly ever have to stop at the store to get something out of the ordinary. Admittedly, it also means I cook a lot of the same food items over and over (but come on, who doesn’t? We all have our fixed number of go-to meals, ain’t I right?) and I occasionally have to throw stuff out that went bad.

The good thing is: I usually can make a meal out of any random number of ingredients. I don’t necessarily go by a complete recipe list when I cook.

(Sidenote: J and I had a roommate once and we had decided on taking turns with grocery shopping and cooking. Let’s just say that I volunteered my shopping and cooking services rather quickly, when I realized our roommate would shop for every single ingredient of a recipe, even if he would only use it once, and spend insane amounts of $$ on groceries when it was his turn to shop. That didn’t fly with me for very long.)

While I am conscious of general food prices and sales, I hardly ever plan my meals around it or even stick to a shopping list. If I see something at the store that I want, I buy it (not all the time, but often).

All this to say, my goal for February is to try my hand at meal planning.. And with that, I mean the whole shebang: looking through the store ads on the weekend for specials/sales, plan our meals for the week accordingly and then write a shopping list and stick to it. Maybe even try more new recipes for a change.
What I really want to see is if a) we waste less food (although we don’t waste much as it is right now) and b) do I see a change in my monthly grocery bill?
I also look forward to challenging myself to be more open to eat what is on the plan for a given day instead of always giving in to my random cravings.

I got myself a pretty notebook and I’ll be documenting our meal planning in there for the next four weeks. This will be interesting. Wish me luck.

  1. Meal planning never felt like my *thing* either, but I’m starting to think that it’s definitely a great idea. When I cooked with my SIL last week I ended up having enough food for the entire week (and now we’re cooking together again tomorrow!) and really? That is the best feeling ever. Good luck in February, I think you may end up really enjoying this one :)

  2. Love this and, believe it or no,t I am doing the same thing right this moment! haha Great minds really do think alike! Hugs xxx

  3. If I don’t have a meal plan and a list, going grocery shopping stresses me out. I’m not the greatest cook in the world so I like to be super organized :) We still waste food (especially produce!) because we don’t follow the plan all the time, and we go over budget by a little bit most months too. This month I’m trying out a monthly meal plan, so I can buy as much of the food as I can next week when it’s 15% off Tuesday. (We make a huge event out of 15% off Tuesday. Seriously. It’s in bright red in my dayplanner!) Good luck this month :)

  4. Good Luck,
    since I DO HAVE to watch what I eat (unfortunately) I plan our meals. Sometimes I get inspired what we have in the fridge but we also shop from a list.

    But even with left overs I usually create another yummy and healthy dinner for the next night. We don’t waste food at all! (Sometimes I even keep cooking water for making soup!) Well, I guess I am a little obsessed with not wasting any foods! *blush

  5. Love this! Once we get settled into the new house and get our pantry stocked, I’ll be right there with you! I can’t wait to plan fun, healthy meals regularly. Lately I’ve been doing a horrible job of shopping and cooking, and EATING in general. Can’t wait to fix that!

    Let us know how your planning goes!!!

  6. I found I spent *more* when I did meal plan, but I also only hit up the store once a week instead of every few days so it actually was probably less, just felt like more at one time! Ha.

    Meal planning makes grocery shopping SO much easier, though. Good luck with this month!

  7. I’ve always planned meals, with the exception of when we lived in Germany. I loved shopping each day for our meals! Now I shop once every 3-4 weeks and just fill in with bread and milk and eggs. Perhaps a fresh vegetable.
    Good luck!

  8. I’m kind of back/forth with meal planning. A lot of time Mr. O and I generally plan what we eat for the week, and I actually like to do it. I think we try to keep it flexible enough though so that we can change our mind if necessary. I think its better than trying to figure it out the night of… for me atleast. If that were the case, I’d eat the same few things for dinner and it would never change!

  9. I love meal planning each week! It makes things so much easier. I’m never super rigid with it, but I do decide on a few meals to make then make sure I have the necessary ingredients in my fridge to do so at some point during the week.

  10. Hooray! Good luck! :)

  11. I also tend to eat whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it (thus now needing to diet to lose extra weight), but I never buy things out of impulse and more often than not I eat things in my pantry before they go bad. It’s usually just me, so no one is complaining if I make the same thing for dinner three nights in a row.
    Good luck with the meal planning, let us know how it goes.

  12. Given your habits, this is a really interesting goal for February. I like it. In a past life, I was like you … on the go for meals (meaning lots of spontaneity, not necessarily eating out all the time). Then, I decide I’d be a couponing lady and let that be my guide for what we ate every week. I failed miserably at that (to be good at it, I had to devote a lot of time to it and be OK with shopping at multiple stores – it didn’t work for me in the long run). Since then, Sweets and I have settled on a kind of meal planning that works for us. When we’re shopping each week, we talk about our plans for the week and determine how many meals we need to make. We buy the right ingredients, but don’t necessarily determine which days we’ll eat what meals. So far, it works for us. Good luck!

  13. I’m really excited to see how this goes for you. I kind of meal plan. I create a list of meals I want to eat in a week and then I shop for those meals. I don’t assign a meal to a certain day because I like the flexibility of making something simply on day that ends up more stressful than it should be. I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s, and that definitely helps keep the price down. I also try to have like meals when using an odd ingredient so as to curb waste, but I’m pretty sure I could be doing better. As for late, my go to weekly meal plans have been feeling a big stagnant.

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