She Cooks: Meal Planning

She Cooks

The Kitchen may be an intimidating place for some women. Perhaps you haven’t had great experiences, listen I know, like most women out there we’ve had out share of battle wounds cooking. Don’t give up! Keep at it and you will get better and better at it!

Proverbs 31: 15 She rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.

This makes me believe that she had a game plan for when she woke up. I sense that she wouldn’t wake up at 4am or 5am and not know what she was waking up to do! Perhaps she had a list, a meal plan, a grocery list, etc… every moment was accounted for in her life and this is what made her a notable servant to her husband, children and servants!

The P31 woman was preplanned and was ready, sometimes when we haven’t preplanned, we go to the store, overspend, and go home without clear direction on what to make in the kitchen… so we order pizza! There are many ways to meal plan, here are some tips, do what works best for you and your family!

Meal Planning Basics:

  1. Determine what type of cook you are (generally)
    • Semi-Homemade (part use of prepackaged items & fresh)
    • Fresh Ingredient Junkie (cooking from scratch)
    • Frozen Food Lover (prepackaged prepared foods)
  2. Determine how much time daily you have to spend in the kitchen preparing a meal.
    • With a kiddo around the house, I find myself prepping most of my ingredients in the morning, and cooking throughout the day.
  3. What style foods do you (and your family) enjoy?
    • Genre: Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, Chinese…
    • Method: Braised, Roasted, Grilled…
    • Lots of protein, Lots of carbs, Lots of fresh veggies…
  4. Write a list of meals you make you (and your family) currently enjoy.
    • Spend a little time looking up recipes that may be winners.
      • Creating a pinterest board or a physical recipe book will help you organize your meals!
    • As you try new recipes that are ‘winners,’ add them to your list.
      • I like to save this list on my phone “notes” app.
    • Shop the weekly ad’s of stores you already shop at!
      • Publix weekly ad available every Thursday.
      • Target weekly ad available every Sunday.
      • Trader Joe’s does not have sales, prices competitive already.

How to create a weekly meal plan:

  1. Begin by browsing the ad and writing down anything that is on sale that you need and know your family eats.
  2. Then, review the list and begin with the most expensive grocery ticket item: Protein.
    • What type of meats are on sale this week?
    • What meals can I make with these types of meats?
    • Are some sale items super cheap to stock up on?
      • When ‘stocking up’ check the exp dates! Often there is a reason they are on sale!
  3. Pick one meal to make that week, and formulate your grocery list of items you need to purchase.
  4. Review the grocery list and determine what you can make with ingredients you are already purchasing and/or have in your fridge or freezer.
  5. Build on your menu from there, and set the dates you plan on preparing those meals.
    • Setting the dates aren’t set in stone! Be flexible with the unexpected things that come up throughout the week.
  6. Stick to it! Follow through and prepare those meals on those days! It will save you money and you’ll eat healthier!
  7. As you cook, prepare an extra portion and build a freezer stash! This will help you during the crunch times and you just need a quick bite or ‘frozen meals’!

Quick 30-minute meals:

  • Asian Stir Fry/ Fried Rice
  • Fajitas/Tacos/Quesadillas
  • Shredded Meat Flatbreads
  • Italian Jambalaya
  • Chicken Parmesan Bake
  • Chicken with Yellow Rice and peas
  • Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
  • Baked Fish with Veggies
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Pizza
  • Enchiladas
  • Taco Soup
  • Chicken or Shrimp Alfredo
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Chicken Cesar Salad


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