So I don’t know how long this will last, but I totally planned the eating options for the family for the upcoming week. As you noticed in my last post or if this your first time here, welcome!) my food-based frustrations were hitting fever pitch and I was looking to my peers for both company in my misery or to siphon off any good ideas or recipes to assist in my growing ire.
Well, with a few suggestions from good people – my sister and stepmother sent me a list of potential meal ideas – I chose based on the following criteria:
• Must be pretty healthy (note my guilt free “pretty” caveat)
• Must allow for lunch leftovers (sick of Steph and I spending too much and the boys not eating their lunch)
• Could be made ahead of time for ease of use (key as by the time I get home, I have about 40 minutes before the witching hour hits and punches get thrown and nipples get twisted)
• Were already popular in our household (go with what is good, now is not the time to introduce culinary exotica)
Here is what I came up with on Friday night: Note the week starts at the bottom on Saturday, the grocery shopping day.
I wrote out the meal plan first, the grocery list next, checking the fridge to cross off some of the items that already existed. As mentioned, I included meals we have eaten in the past and the entire family enjoys. I added a couple of new things to try (pizza muffins!) that I know will go over well. We are not in the kale and quinoa and tofu stage yet, but will be introducing some of the common sense super foods over the next little while to get our kids accustomed to something other then meat, starch and vegetables. Of course, the staples of milk and bread and crackers and granola bars and fruit were added to our grocery list to supplement the main dishes as well. Oh, I also calculated this all to come out around $190.
So I went shopping at 8am on Saturday morning. The moment the grocery store opens. It was pouring rain. It’s was me, fathers with babies giving moms a break and old people looking for sales. I was home by 9:00am with fresh bagels and grande non fat latte for Steph. The last two items cost $47 as I was ticketed as I popped into Starbucks. Shakes head and fist. You may note the written in ribs for Monday night’s meal. This was a game time decision as ribs were on sale and fit into the criteria (they will be served with broccoli and rice tonight).
Bam! Groceries unpacked I proceeded to make the chili and slow cook the ribs. I cut up all the vegetables and put them into zip locked bags to both encourage eating and to eliminate future prep time. I made a pesto with waning fridge basil and threw it in the freezer as a back up to any meals that might not go over as well as planned. This was all done by noon on Saturday (still raining, kids watching a movie) and we then we all went out to take care of some errands.
We switched it up and had a bit of chili and ribs on Saturday night because it was impossible to ignore their respective ample and seductive redolence. We ate the fish last night which fit better anyway as it was more of a Sunday night meal (this is another goal of mine, to make Sunday night meals important again.).
This morning with the boys’ lunches already made the previous night – save heating up Hud’s chili – I made my own lunch: the chili and leftover salad from yesterday. Steph took the leftover fish and some greens as chili did not fit with her swanky evening plans (pardon me!?).
So grand total this took about four hours which included the meal plan, the grocery list (one hour on Friday night), the shopping and preparing (three hours on Saturday morning). The total cost of the groceries was $200 which was over, but I have eliminated the need for lunches and the weekday pop up to grocery store boondoggle.
Friday nights may not be a perfect night to do this, but I am an early riser, so that hour could easily be transplanted to Saturday morning pre-grocery shop. I know I will duplicate some meals in the future so finding the initial pool of recipes will be initially challenging, but eventually convenient.
This is food dad September Jason 2.0 signing off.