What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Meal Planning
What to do when you don't feel like meal planning or prepping
We have been struggling to do proper meal planning. And by “we,” I mostly mean “me.” Honestly, we’re burnt out of many of our faves, the same cuts of meat have gone on sale, and we are busy with summertime. So what do we do? We’ve been hitting fast food a bit lately. And honestly, we don’t even like fast food! Sure, Taco Bell occasionally sounds good, but choosing to split a McNuggets meal between me and the two kids because it’s the “best option” stinks. So here are some tips I’ve personally used to get us back into better meal planning.
1. Write down your schedule/appointments - make those meals priority
2. try something completely new
You probably could’ve thought of this, but sometimes hearing or reading about it helps. I decided to try a new lighter potato salad recipe. Instead of a creamy thick heavy sauce, it was based around EVOO and dijon mustard. I added in lots of vegetables and herbs from the garden, and it was a hit! Here’s the thing….I don’t like potato salad. Normally. But this was a side everyone in our family enjoyed, because I looked for something a little out of the box!
3. buy a treat item
What is something you’ve wanted at home but just seemed a bit too expensive or necessary? Maybe it’s a special bread, pretzel buns, or an exotic fruit. Include that into your meals/grocery list. Why? Because if you’re so bored that you end up eating out, chances are pretty good that one special item at the grocery store will save you money in the long run. Personally, I’m itching to buy truffle oil to make homemade roasted truffle fries. It’s about $13 for a small bottle, but that will last way longer and be less expensive than us going to a restaurant as a family just so I can get a side of truffle fries. And now, I’m going to be sure to plan a meal around those truffle fries. So that’s another night in my week covered, woohoo!
4. make meal prepping enjoyable
Put on your favorite music or TV show. Either wait until the kids are in bed or keep them occupied. My favorite method is to wait until the kids are napping, or at least one is napping and the other gets a little screen time. Then I can still watch what I want (on a laptop that’s visible from the countertop). Or listen to some podcasts or audiobooks. Maybe even wait until the kids are in bed and things have settled down and do it with a glass of wine or spritzer. If you need a new YouTube channel to watch, subscribe to mine here:
5. Something tried-and-true
I know that when you feel meal planning burnout, that sometimes it’s because of repeating meals. But there has got to be something that your family enjoys that you haven’t made in a while. Think hard, and go for it this week!
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Hi, my name is Rachel Smith. I’m a personal finance nerd, Aldi connoissuer, book lover, yoga enthusiast, and budgeting wiz. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska but currently call Michigan home. I want to help people with their finances and eating healthy on a tight budget (no matter what your cost-of-living area is!)