In a desperate effort to fill the void left in my house, I’ve decided to embark on a new adventure.
To stop sucking.
When I look around my house there are just so many things that need to be done better. Or at all.
For starters, I am really bad at cleaning. Like horrible.
I have all of these good intentions. I always start strong and then something shiny I get distracted. Or bored. Or gaggy (cleaning out the drain, come on, people shouldn’t have to do that).
And I can’t even blame it on lack of training. I KNOW how to clean. Mimi made sure of it.
I just hate doing it. And, my house has suffered because of it.
The place has turned into a disorganized series of debris heaps. Any room you go into has piles of things. On the tables. On the counters. On the floor. Under the beds. On the backs of stools.
And, I’m over it.
Only, since it’s I’m still partially in the avoidance phase, I’ve decided to start this stop sucking journey somewhere else: cooking.
Another life task that I am just really, really bad at.
Again, it’s not a lack of skill. I can literally throw down in the kitchen. Like, for real. Come over, I’ll cook for you (just don’t judge the mess), and it will be amazing.
It’s just, I don’t. Any time I can reasonably avoid cooking a full meal, I do it (and I can find reasons quite easily actually).
I’m unmotivated in the kitchen. I’m sick of cooking the same three meals repeatedly. And, frankly, I’d rather eat cookies for dinner.
So, I forget to thaw something, and then when I remember it’s too late. Or, before I make it to the freezer something shiny I get distracted. And there we are eating frozen taquitos and celery sticks for the 3rd consecutive night.
So a change is in order.
Operation Meal Plan is officially underway. And, a week into it, things are kind of awesome (I’ve served this family a made at home meal every night this week, including the weekend). Here are my tips for first timers.
How to Meal Plan: 7 Tips from a First Timer
1. Find an expert. And then, copy her (or him). My go to meal plan site for actual meal planning motivation is The Centsibile Life. Her menu plan templates are da bomb. Tasty Kitchen and Last Night’s Dinner are where I go for recipe inspiration.
2. Get a jump start. I got to test out Hello Fresh a few weeks ago (FREE OF CHARGE). It’s an easy way to get started cooking fresh meals at home. For those who are strapped for time or who find it hard to actually do the planning part of meal planning, Hello Fresh, is the perfect solution. They do all of the brain work and the busy work. All you have to do is look at the pretty pictures, choose what you like, and then cook it when the box packed with ingredients and the recipe shows up on your doorstep. Every meal can be cooked in 30 minutes or less and will be delicious if you follow their instructions and don’t get caught up watching the Daily Show while you’re cooking. Wanna try HelloFresh?! Here’s a code for $30 off your first box: SBJ9NP6.
*Note I did a little recipe modifying here because my Dudes don’t like mashed anything and I had some leftover stuffing to use.
3. Don’t worry about from scratch. I used to feel guilty if I made box mac and cheese or threw in a frozen pizza from time to time. That was silly. Frozen pizza, and a salad with fresh fruit for dessert is nothing to fell guilty about.
4. Make it a part of your to-dos. Just like you don’t skip doing homework with your kids or washing the dirty undies every week, you have to make meal planning a part of your nonnegotiable to do list. If you absolutely do not have a nonnegotiable to-do list you might be screwed.
5. Stop going to the grocery store so often. We used to stop in there like 3 times a week. Life’s too easy that way. You know you don’t have to plan because if worse comes to worse you’ll just pick something up on the way home. Don’t give yourself that option.
6. Cook on your own schedule. So you get home after 7 each night and don’t have time to make Spaghetti ala Puttanesca (dudes, Google that, I had no idea what puttanesca meant until then) then. Cook everything Saturday morning. Or Sunday afternoon. Or Tuesday at midnight when you can’t sleep. Your family will get used to eating warmed up meals or they will starve.
7. Get the fam involved. They’re gonna eat it, might as well help cook it.
*I received a review box from Hello Fresh free of charge. All opinions and recipe additions are my own.