My new meal planning strategy
I collect recipes the way some elderly women collect ceramic roosters. I enjoy browsing and seeing how creative people are and how foods with the same basic ingredients can have such a variation of flavors. I buy cookbooks at garage sales, I take other people’s magazines with recipes. I go absolutely bonkers with online recipes. At least with the cookbooks and magazines I have storage space limitations, but with online recipes I have no reason to exercise restraint.
Consequently, when I sit down to make my meal plan for the week, I have thousands of recipes to choose from. And I’m the kind of girl that likes to carefully consider my options (at least when it comes to food) at restaurants, I read every single item on the menu before I order, even if I’ve been there before. But this kind of free reign makes planning a week’s worth of recipes take forever.
Not to mention that I’m making new recipes all the time and sometimes we’ll stumble across something that Joel and I both love and then we never see it again. Or at least not for another 6 months. Which Joel doesn’t seem to appreciate. And, of course, it’s more time consuming and expensive. But sticking to the same list of meals all the time sounds so restrictive and boring. Variety is the spice of life, right!
So I’ve come up with a solution that’s curbing my recipe ADD for now.
I made a list of all the meals I could think of that Joel and I like. I then created a list for each category, so some of our favorite breakfasts, snacks, dinners, etc. Eating these meals once a week would burn me out quickly. But eating them once a month sounds manageable. I decided I wanted a few familiar recipes every week and then I have a few nights a weeks where I can try new recipes, if I want too. And I usually do. This way I can still cook by, “what sounds good.” So far, it’s working well for us.
So how do you decide what’s for dinner?
This post is a part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.