241. A New Twist on an Old Friend

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been doing my meal planning a little differently the last few weeks.  I’ve never denied my love of meal planning.  It saves me time and money, and it usually prevents me from ordering in or eating out multiple times a week.  Unfortunately it can also be incredibly difficult when you find yourself in a rut like I did a few weeks ago.  I was struggling to come up with weekly meal plans.  Nothing was appealing to me, and I ended up eating brinner three times in one week!  (Don’t get me wrong, I love breakfast for dinner, but three times in one week for anything other than CoreFusion is verging on over kill.)

I love my new meal planning method so much that I want to share it with all of you.  Honestly, the whole approach kind of developed organically.  I didn’t really plan for it to happen, but I love it so I’m sticking with it.  I’ve developed themes for my meals.  I’ve got Meatless Monday (Though most of my meals are meatless anyway, Monday is specifically meatless.), Brinner Thursday, and Pizza Friday.  I also plan at least one slow cooker meal and one soup each week.  Having a theme for five of the seven days in a week makes it really easy to plan meals and encourages me to try new recipes.  Last week I made a potato and red onion pizza for pizza Friday.  I don’t think this is something I would have just made without specifically looking for a pizza recipe.

To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, here’s what this week’s meal plan looks like:

Monday: Mexican Rice with refried black beans (I’m making them myself!) and bean and cheese burritos

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Wednesday: Beer Can Chicken

Thursday: Breakfast Fried Rice.  (I’ve been rolling this idea around in my head since the breakfast risotto.)

Friday: BBQ Chicken Pizza (with the leftover chicken from Wednesday)

Saturday: Loaded Potato Soup

Obviously nothing is set in stone.  Things may will change sometimes.   I’m probably not going to be interested in a weekly soup once summer rolls around, but having a theme gives me a starting point.  It gives me a direction.  It makes my life easier.  I’m no longer wandering vaguely through a sea of recipes and blog posts.  I’m looking for a new pizza recipe or a new breakfast recipe or a new soup to try. 

Do you have any specific strategies for meal planning?

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