I hope everyone is having a great Thursday! The wonderful Aubrey Rose agreed to do a guest post for me, which couldn’t have come at a better time, since I either have food poisoning or the stomach flu. That’s probably too much information knowing that this guest post is about meal planning, so I’ll leave it at that.Hello everyone and Thank you for having me!
A little about myself before we get started :
My name is Aubrey Rose and I blog over at Discovering Adulthood. I am 19 and love budgeting and saving. I know that makes me a little strange! I have two cats, a dog, and a Fiance. I have lived on my own for the better half of two years now. And in case you can’t tell, I am horrible at talking about myself!
Today I am going to tell you a little bit about how we go about meal planning.
My first year living on my own was a challenge. Somehow, with a lot of help from God, and family I managed to make it through though. When the new year started I took a step back and looked at my spending to see where I could cut back. I realized that Loveyy and I spend A LOT of money on eating out. Not always on restaurants either, a lot of it was Subway, McDonalds, or Dunkin Donuts. Its really gross when you think about it. So my resolution for the new year was to reduce eating out to twice a week. That included everything! Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner! I know it is going to be a challenge, but I think we will be better off for it.
The easiest way to make sure we reduced our eating out was to make sure that every week we had a meal plan. That way there could be no last minute “Well, we don’t have anything to eat so lets just go out” excuses. (We used that one a lot last year) We have started grocery shopping a lot more than usual, and this has really helped us out.
Its just Loveyy and I so shopping was difficult at first. We would decide we want tacos – but we don’t need a whole pound of beef. So the other half would usually end up going bad. Then I came up with an idea. Every week I ask Loveyy “What would you like for dinner this week” and usually I get the same unhelpful response of “It doesn’t matter”. Wonderful. So then I sit down and think about what I want for the week. I write a list of about 3 dinner ideas. From there I build. Say one of the meals I have planned is chicken fajitas – okay, so that will take up about half a package of cutlets, now what to do with the other half? I could do either chicken tenders, or grilled chicken salad. (I’ll probably choose tenders) All of a sudden, I have two meals planned off of just one. I hope I’m making sense here.
We eat much healthier now that we eat at home. I don’t like to buy a lot of fatty foods, and I usually try to make sure we have a veggie or salad with dinner.
I know that grocery shopping and “making dinner” every night can seem intimidating when you are first starting out, and used to food being prepared for you every night so here are a couple of tips :
-Don’t be afraid to do “ready made” : Before shopping I look at my work schedule, if I know that I am going to be working late and won’t feel like cooking much, I grab a frozen pizza or one of the frozen dinners. They’re quick, easy and usually make very little mess in the kitchen. The first time I ventured into the frozen dinner isle I was surprised at how many options there were.
-Plan a sandwich night every week : Instead of cooking a big full course dinner every night, plan a night every week where you just do cold cuts on a nice bun. Those with a side salad, or a side of chips can make an awesome dinner. Especially if you buy some Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions to go on top!
-Have Family dinner : My family gets together every Sunday at one of the grandparents houses. This mean that every Sunday I don’t have to worry about cooking. Most of us have parents, or grandparents who would be delighted for the company. Just call them up and see if you can come for a visit one night. Now, you are getting a free meal, while enjoying the company of your loved ones.
-Just go out! Of course you are going to be exhausted at the end of the week! Everyone is. You could try planning one night a week, or every other week where you order in Chinese, or where you go out. Its perfectly okay to do in moderation. Just don’t go to crazy. Go in with a plan on how much you can afford, and don’t stray!
Here is a dinner Loveyy and I recently had.
It is super easy, and super delicious.
Just keep in mind that I cook for two, so if you have more you may want to double the recipe.
Ultimate Nacho Dinner!
You will need :
Note: everything listed below is approximate. I usually cook off the top of my head. And hardly ever follow a recipe. Go with your gut, if you don’t like it to spicy, take out the jalapeno. I love spice!
1 can of chili with beans
½ lb of beef
about a cup of chopped onions
one chopped jalapeno
A bag of Tortilla Chips
Fiest blend shredded cheese
Half a chopped tomato
Brown your beef in a pan.
While the beef is cooking chop up your onion and jalepeno
Add in the chili
then throw in the onions and the jalapenos.
Lay down one layer of chips, then scoop the chili on top of it.
Now lat down a second layer of chips.
Scoops some more chili, sprinkle some cheese on top.
Now add lettuce and tomato, and finish with a dollop of sour cream.
And you have yourself an amazing Nacho dinner!
Proof that you don’t have to be a master chef, of cook for an hour to make great dinners.
Now – I love making chili from scratch, but it takes a lot more time, and a little more money, this was is so much easier. I think the whole dinner maybe took me 15 minutes.
Don’t forget to taste as you go!
Thank you for having me.
I hope to see you around my blog.
-Aubrey RoseMy comment: Have you been meal planning? Any tips?