How To Make More Time For Your Writing (or for whatever!): Meal Planning

I know a lot of moms that are way into meal planning—like, they have Binders dedicated to meal-planning. And honestly, I downloadthink that is awesome—if you love it, go for it! I’ve never personally been passionate about cooking, though, since having kids, I do cook more from scratch than from not (I do cheat with some mixes now and then, depending on how recently I’ve had a baby). My priorities with recipes are: how healthy the recipe is, how delicious, how quick I can make it (in that order).

I do a variation on meal-planning where I dedicate each day to a different type of food (see chart below). This is just what my family happens to like, you might find there’s some other exciting category that works better for your family.

Monday Chinese
Variations: stir fry, pad thai, sesame chicken, fried rice, etc.
Tuesday Mexican
Variations: tacos, burritos, taco salad, taco soup, Mexican pizza, fajitas, etc.
Wednesday Homemade Pizza
Variations: calzones, various toppings (we like bbq pizza and Hawaiian pizza). There are homemade crust mixes that are pretty good, but also easy premade crusts you can buy.
Thursday Homemade Soup or Salad
During the winter, we have soup, during summer we have salad. There are lots of good soup mixes if you don’t have time to make something from scratch.
Friday Fish
Variations: tilapia, salmon, sometimes various other seafood like shrimp. Usually I pair it with some veggies.
Saturday Chicken
This is very broad—sometimes I make baked chicken, fried chicken, seasoned chicken, etc. paired with veggies.
Sunday Pasta
Variations: ravioli, spaghetti, tricolor rotini, etc. a really great easy after-church meal.

For lunches, we eat leftovers, sandwiches, and salads, to keep things simple!

What I’ve liked about this meal planning is that if I don’t have a lot of time, I can resort to old stand-bys for each day (Chinese Monday: stir-fry, Mexican Tuesday: tacos, etc) but when I’m feeling adventurous, I can slip in new recipes that fit in the different categories. The categories are broad enough that I can play around with them (like Chicken Saturday—that’s pretty much wide-open!), but specific enough that I can text my husband to start cooking lunch if I’m running late, and he’ll know what we’re having.

So really this way of “meal planning” takes the planning out of it entirely—which leaves time for you to think about other things, like that poem you’ve been meaning to write.

What are some ways that you save time in the kitchen, when your schedule is hectic?

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4 thoughts on “How To Make More Time For Your Writing (or for whatever!): Meal Planning

  1. I totally forgot about your meal planning technique and how much I loved it. I’m also not very passionate about cooking, so I totally understand not wanting to have a binder for it. Haha. I just finished up a clean-eating challenge and want to change our lifestyle to be one of family meals. I know this is awful, but we very rarely eat as a family. Typically I feed the boys breakfast, then put on Netflix before we start homeschooling so they are “occupied” while I have my coffee and breakfast. I feed them lunch, then put them down for nap, and then I eat lunch. Then we feed the boys dinner, give them a bath, put them to bed, and eat our dinner around 7:30pm. We do this because it’s easier and because we don’t like eating cold food, but I’ve really felt convicted about wanting to gather around the dinner table as a family, eating the same thing (if possible). I determined I would start after my January challenge. Figuring out meals with kids is so hard (at least it has been for me).

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    1. i love having family meals! its a huge priority for us–ours happen at lunch since bryan works during dinner time. it is definitely harder to cook and do meals with kids though, i totally understand!

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