There’s Never Anything to Eat…Ever!

Ugh, it’s been a while since I’ve been good and made up a meal plan. Philip and I were kicking butt on our budgeting and debt payment plan at the beginning of the year. Meal planning is a major part of that, believe it or not.

But we had family visit in March (back to back Philip’s side and mine) and our meal planning really fell by the wayside during that time. Then I had a big work event which took up a solid 6-weeks of my life. It was hard to focus on anything else–especially meal planning.

During this “meal planning break” we’ve been eating out a lot, as well as eating takeout and quick grocery items. I eat a wheat-flour-free diet. I’m not allergic to gluten, but I do have a sensitivity to wheat flour (I’ll explain how I figured this out and how it affects me another time). So fast food is tough.

Enjoying gf pizza in Flagstaff

If I had a choice I would eat Chipotle every damn day. But that’s not budget friendly. 🙂 For takeout, my options are pretty much thai/chinese food or gluten-free pizza. (Thank you for finally getting Udi’s crust, Papa Murphy’s! You made my year.) There are also a ton of great restaurants in our little mountain town, so that is quite tempting.

For quick grocery dinners I’m eating rotisserie chicken or sushi. I rarely eat breakfast or lunch. I know, not healthy and I’m killing my metabolism. One battle at a time people…I just need to master dinner for now.

It’s amazing how much money you can save by eating out less. The first time Philip and I made a conscious effort to make more dinners at home (5 years ago when we were engaged and taking a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class), we saved $700 that month and about fell out of our chairs when we realized. Granted, we were dating at the time and going out for dinner is just kind of a part of that stage of life. Nonetheless, that’s crazy money saved.

So, it’s time to get serious again about the meal planning.

I used to write out our meals for the week on a whiteboard and then make our grocery list on my phone every Sunday. That needs to move to Saturdays. By Sunday, I feel like I’d rather be home saving those last hours before the work week begins…not at the grocery store getting food.

meal plan

My handy meal planner

Recently I’ve been using this handy-dandy fridge-magnet, meal-planning notepad. It’s the bee’s knees. Honestly, part of why I like it is because it’s pretty to look at. Hey, whatever works!

Having the meals on the fridge is really helpful because not only is that typically the first stop when we get home from work, but filling up water glasses at the fridge is the last place in the house before we go to sleep. So it helps to see what meat needs to be pulled out of the freezer and put in the fridge to thaw the night before, and to not get ravenous and start scarfing down a tub of parmesan cheese instead of making dinner when we get home. Yikes, yes that happens.

When I first started meal planning, I also went through all my pantry and fridge and took an inventory of the ingredients I had and tried to make meals with that stuff first before I bought any groceries. That was super duper helpful for the budget–I’ll explain that more when I talk about the “envelope system” in a future post.

So my favorite source for recipes is my All Recipes app on my phone (because I can put in certain ingredients I have like basil, chicken, and tomato…and it’ll pop out a recipe with all those ingredients). I also love Pinterest because the beautiful-looking dishes are really inspiration to get to work on dinner.

Here’s what’s on the plan for next week:

  • Sunday: Tacos & pinto beans
  • Monday: Beef & veggie “hobo” packets (this is a fav while we’re camping, but so easy for busy week nights)
  • Tuesday: Chicken & veggie kebabs
  • Wednesday: Pesto chicken pasta (rice pasta, that is)
  • Thursday: Asian stir fry
  • Friday: Turkey burgers & avocado salad
  • Saturday: Chipotle! (dine out)

That’s a good enough plan… Nothing fancy, but not terribly unhealthy and definitely budget-friendly. I better stick with it!

2 thoughts on “There’s Never Anything to Eat…Ever!

  1. I love home cooking and try my very best to do it more often than not; but when you’ve had a mad day at work the desire to cook is right out of the window and the thought of someone cooking, serving and washing up is just too delightful to pass up – good luck this week 🙂


    1. I know it…forcing myself to get moving and make dinner when I get home is really hard. But once I get in the swing of it, and my meals are already figured out, it’s so much easier. Thanks, I need it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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About The Tiny Trail

On a journey to financial freedom, minimalist living, and happiness.