Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meal Planning -- and why you need less recipes than you think

Meal Planning.

I'd like to tell you that I'm pretty rocking at the meal-planning thing. That I do it all the time and always follow my plan.

But that would be a lie.

However, when I am SMART, I'll make meal-planning a priority.

Did you know there are 6 different meal planning styles? You can click over to my post on Kitchen Stewardship to read all about it.

But, of course, it's really hard to meal plan if you don't have recipes already picked out.

Meal Planning. Why You Need Less Recipes Than You Think ::

How Many Recipes Do You REALLY Need?

We’re currently in a phase where our eating styles are changing. (In a nutshell: we’re no longer buying store bought meats. Rather, we buy our 1/4 of a cow once a year and buy whole chickens from local farmers.) Essentially, this meant I had to take every recipe I had for chicken and throw it out the window because we are no longer buying boneless skinless chicken meat. PANIC!

Which means I have been on The Great Quest For Recipes. Weeks of scouring my recipe books, favorite blogs, and internet sites for ideas left me feeling swamped and overwhelmed… until I realized I really only needed four good recipes.

Yes, that’s right.


If we stick to our thematic plan, we eat chicken once a week. 
There are only four weeks in a month (give or take).
  • Which means if I have ONLY four recipes, our menu will only repeat itself once a month.
  • Which means we’ll only be eating that dish 12 times in a year.
  • Which means I’m less likely to get stuck in a food rut preparing the SAME thing.
  • Which means I don’t have to feel guilt passing over a recipe on Pinterest because I know I’ve already got four rockin’ chicken dishes.
  • Which means if I prepare 2x the amount of barbeque sauce for my BBQ Chicken Sandwich meal, I can freeze the extras and don’t have to cook next month -- and I KNOW I'll use it.
  • Which means I’m spending less time in kitchen and more time with my kids.