Mastering the Meal Plan Guide
Creating a meal plan guide is the answer to so many problems. Most of the stress comes out of not being prepared.
One of the best ways to prevent frustration (which can lead to lashing out or not being patient) is to prepare yourself with what your upcoming meals will be. The idea that you need to eat and feed your family will never end. But this gives us an opportunity to express our love and be creative!
Being an elegant woman is also about sharing your love towards others. This is the perfect outlet because who doesn’t adore a good home cooked meal?
But with so much to do these days, we must find ways to be very organized. Knowing and expecting what to eat or cook is one of the only ways to stay ahead of the stress.
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How to Shop for Food
I love to shop for food.
It’s a past time my husband and I genuinely look forward to. I realize the virus has minimized the efforts and I understand why so many people use the grocery delivery service, but there’s something beautiful about shopping to feed your family.
It can be a time saver, but because of that it can also be expensive.
In the video, I talk about how you can save money by not going to the grocery store with a list — but possibly with just ideas.
I don’t want to repeat myself here, but it’s not about following recipes but first start out with what is on sale and THEN you make the recipes out of that.
Meal Planning for Beginners
Learning to meal plan isn’t a very difficult thing to do, but it’s all in the execution. You can have all the wonderful meals planned and know that they will all be hits but if there isn’t a realistic way of cooking them then it is actually worse!
You’ll feel more stress and guilt for not following through with your meal plan. Let alone, if you bought food specifically for it — then it might go to waste!
It’s important for beginners to always take it slow and steady. It is really tempting to just plan the most healthy or extravagant weekday meals but I’ve done this and then I forget either I don’t have as much time as I think or real life happens and I don’t have the energy.
Sometimes, if I am trying to be extra healthy (as most of us women try to be) I forget how hungry my family can be! Sometimes the idea of soup after a long day just doesn’t cut it. Add some crackers or bread and maybe we have a deal!
One tip: Change the way you see a meal. Perhaps one meal can be some good quality bread and some fixings. Never underestimate a delicious and well prepared sandwich! Living an elegant lifestyle doesn’t mean everything has to be grand. Simplicity is a beautiful thing.
Meal Planning Tips
It is hard.
There are so many people who struggle with this, that’s why there is so much help out there!
There are many different levels to providing good healthy food to your family. When there are times when you can’t handle to cook or you didn’t realize how late it was — always have prepared meals in the freezer or pantry.
Eating out can get very expensive as a family. Even the thought of my family of 5 going to McDonalds and spending over $50 for something that we will regret sounds more unappetizing then something buried deep in the freezer.
Try to remain elegant in these situations and have something prepared. Or if all else fails you can purchase a cheap frozen pizza, add some fresh vegetables or other toppings that your family loves and voila! You have a wonderful meal in 30 minutes! But the important thing to always remind yourself is be prepared. Expect this to happen eventually.
Collect those recipes
This one seems to be too easy, but so often when we cook something for our family we may start out by using a recipe but then tweak it. Or we lost the website we found it on.
What I like to do is to have a universal place where I keep all my recipes. This happens to be a notebook that I have had for the past few years. Slowly it is collecting the recipes that my family loves and also family cooking traditions/methods. I am hoping that one day one of my sons will love this book and cherish it because we had this same experience with my mother-in-law’s recipe book.
She passed away in 2016, and this is one way we can keep her alive and in our memories. She is still feeding and nourishing us to this day.
Don’t be afraid of left overs
I didn’t realize this is a thing, but some people despise leftovers!
Perhaps it’s because people don’t want to eat the same thing twice in a row, but all it needs is a little tweaking!
Just like a good black dress or a pair of pants, by adding a belt it can completely change the look. Same goes with food.
What I do with my leftovers, especially if it wasn’t one of my best meals, I like to concoct a completely separate meal using those ingredients. Usually it turns out better than the original meal. The only sad thing is that I can never make it again because it is comprised of a couple lefts overs from different days!
Not only do left overs let you have the ability to be creative, but they can make the job easier on you too! Not having to make a meal from scratch but just by adding little additions.
My favorite additions are:
- making flour dumplings in a broth soup
- putting the leftovers in a casserole dish and adding breadcrumbs and baking it
- using the left over stir fry or rice curry and make a thicker soup
- left over tomato sauce becomes the base of my next stew
there are so many more options but I don’t want to waste your time and I know you get the idea!
How is meal planning related to Spring Cleaning?
This does sound a little confusing, but I promise it isn’t.
The way we nourish our bodies makes a big difference in how we exist. If we continually feed ourselves junk then eventually we will only be that. Our health is more important than we know and if we can overhaul our wardrobes or homes to look and be amazing then our food is naturally the next step.
Our emotions and the way we eat really does coexist with each other. Try eating healthy and drinking enough water and you will see the difference.
Spring Clean Your Life Series:
The eBook : 200 Ways of an Elegant Woman – similar to the 101 Ways of an Elegant Woman post, with 100 MORE tips and explanations on all 200 ways.
Course for setting goals! Setting New Year’s Resolutions – and Actually Doing Them– great for any time of the year and wanting to achieve goals to make them your reality
Free eBook to get started! Beginner’s Guide to Elegance– my FREE introductory eBook to help you live your best life
Join the Facebook group – Elegant Living for Elegant Women– a community to ask questions, share stories and learn new ways that you can add elegance to your day and every weekday morning there is an Elegant Lesson video!
Follow me on Twitter
I hope you have been enjoying this series so far! I have been loving my spring cleaning journey and hope you have too! Bettering yourself truly makes all the difference to living the life you want.
Talk to you tomorrow,