Plan Your Weekly Meals!

sys·tem/ˈsistəm/

Noun:     1) A set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular.

2) A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.

 

If I never have to hear the word system again, in the entirety of my life, I would be MORE than grateful.

Since starting a business in July of 2011 (our 1 year anniversary is July 5th!!), I have heard the word ‘system’ more times than any one person ever cares to hear it. “We need a system for this”, “we need a system for that”. It has all grown a wee out of control, to the point where it is now seeping into our sacred HOME time…eek. Let me say, however, that I understand the need of…that s word…in order to make a business run smoothly, efficiently and effectively. I get it, I GET it! But when *ahem s word* means spending more and more hours at work, planning and developing…and you already feel like you live at your office…well, that word does not fill me with feelings of cozy, warm fuzzies.

Now, much like I have learned to turn off my EEK factor with the word “moist”, and yes, I can even say it now…I am learning how to handle the word…ss…syss…sysTEMS! 🙂 Which leads me to my point today :)…

This weekend Nick and I went out to breakfast with some of our buddies, post-workout. Of the many topics that were covered (dumpster diving, the fall of the economy and some other super intelligent thing I’m sure :-p), one of the things I took away from it was Jess had to go home to “plan her week”. When Nick and I got in the car, we mentioned that that is a great idea, why haven’t we ever done that, yada yada. Lately I have been struggling BIG time with wanting to go home and cook, and if it were up to me I would eat out every single meal of the day! When you go to work at 7am, and don’t get home till 8pm…AND as a paleo person, you can’t just pop something into a microwave…who the hell wants to COOK?! But…then I mentioned that Danielle had made a printable worksheet on her blog that would organize our week by meal, and maybe that could help us.

So we sat in the parking lot of Whole Foods, dreaming about what we would eat for the week…and something that I thought would be annoying and tedious, turned out to be FUN, empowering and saved us MONEY!

We organized it like this:

 

Sunday: Fajitas (lettuce wrapped :-p). We made DOUBLE of this, because Mondays are our LONGGGGGGGGGG days, and having to cook at the end of it just makes me grumpy! Also on Sunday, I chopped a bunch of lettuce that I had in my CSA box, and a bunch of kale and put that in a bag; then chopped a bunch of vegetables, hardboiled some eggs, and Nick cooked up some sausage…all so that we could just grab and go for salads at lunchtime throughout the week.

Monday: LEFT OVERS!!! Let me tell you, after a long day yesterday, and not the EASIEST day…coming home to dinner already being done was heavenly. The best part of our day was last night!! 🙂

Tuesday: Chicken marsala with swiss chard 🙂 Date NIGHT!!! 🙂

Wednesday: Pot roast with Dey Dey’s Best Beef and carrots, celery, potatoes and onions. The beauty of this is that we have Wednesday morning off, we pop everything into the slow cooker, and come home Wednesday night to dinner!

Thursday: LEFT OVERS!!! Thursday is our other 12 hour day, so left over are ESSENTIAL!

Friday: My favorite Mark Sisson dish: Kielbasa and raisins over cabbage. Sounds not the best, but trust me…it’s delicious and takes 5 minutes to prep. You can make a double batch and it’ll last you a few days…if Nick does not live with you :-p Okay, who am I kidding, I eat as much as he does… :-p

Saturday: LEFT OVERS!!!!

 

Nick and I were psyched on this, and since we had a plan for what we needed, we saved some money in the grocery store because we weren’t needlessly wandering around picking up everything we THOUGHT we may need…which usually ends up in us wasting it.

 

If you want to try your own sheet, here it is! (don’t be fooled by the simplicity…the very action of WRITING IT DOWN is the key ;))

Danielle’s Printable Meal Planner

So far this SYSTEM is working for us by saving us money, and getting us EXCITED about what we’re going to eat at home, so I am much less likely to want to go out to eat…

I hope it works for you too! 🙂

Much love,

Jen

 

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6 thoughts on “Plan Your Weekly Meals!

    • beautifullystrong says:

      It SOOOO is such a relief isn’t it? 🙂 Last night we were so stressed when we got home, and then having the dinner all ready to go made the rest of our night a total treat 🙂 Yay for…systems. hehe 🙂 Thank you for sharing the Oh So Chichi planning board as well 🙂 Very cool site 🙂

  1. sammyd says:

    This is awesome Jen!! Casey and I have discussed/battled “the system” as well! He loves it, I always want to break it! Buuut systems in place really do help you get things done! I love the idea of meal planning, but I never actually DO IT! If it means I don’t have to have scrambled eggs for dinner on long days then I am IN!! 😀 Love your face 🙂

    • beautifullystrong says:

      totally!! It helps on the long days, also, knowing that you have some DELICIOUS tasty meat slathered in mustard (for you and Casey) at home waiting for you 🙂 Systems don’t always have to suck :-p

  2. Julissa says:

    Great advice Jen!!! I have to agree, it does $ave on groceries, big time when you plan ahead. I use a 10×12 Chalk board I made from an old picture frame (you can purchase chalk board spray at any hardware store). It has become a piece of art in our kitchen that we update every week w/colorful chalk. My kids (10 & 7) both LOVE to know whats for dinner and now take part in meal planning for the week too 🙂 then they add their sweet art to it. They love it so much, they actually keep me on track, esp. when I am too tired to plan for the week.

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