The Importance of Meal Planning

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The Importance of Meal Planning

Meal Planning is talked about a LOT in the blogging sphere these days and I've always wondered why.  I was never exposed to the idea of meal planning until I started reading blogs and it intrigued me, especially since I'm such a planner ;)The idea seems so daunting at times because in a way it takes more effort up front.  However, I have learned that it relieves so much stress when it comes to dinner time!  I know exactly what I have to cook and most times I know exactly how long I have to cook it so I can plan ahead.  The initial planning is definitely worth it in the end.I'm still a newbie at meal planning but am being intentional with writing it down more than ever.  This is also the first time I've ever shared my meal plan with anyone so I'm taking a big leap of faith here.  I'm hoping writing it down will continue to hold me accountable :)

Meal Plan

I'm starting off small and only focusing on dinner for my meal plans.Breakfasts consist of cereal, toast (with homemade bread), eggs, muffins, bacon or sausage, fruit etc.During the weekends I try to make pancakes or french toast etc.Lunches are almost always leftovers (for Micah's work) or a smoothie (for me).

Smoothie Recipe

My smoothie recipe lately has consisted of 1/2-1 whole avocado, a handful of spinach, 1 TBS coconut oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 TBS cocoa powder, 1/2-1 frozen banana and sometimes a few semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I don't actually measure anything out so these are rough estimates.We loved our Ninja Blender for the time we had it. It decided to bite the dust a few months ago so we got this handy Oster Food Processor/Blender Combo. We love it!Every other Tuesday we usually have a home cooked meal with some friends from church for some awesome fellowship time.  Wednesday night we have a church prayer meeting so we normally don't have dinner at home, we either have it at church or a snack when we get home.MONDAY 30 March- Chicken quesadilla with homemade guac (for me, I'm still trying to convince Micah that avocados are amazing) We use this griddle and it's amazing.  I love that I can use it for pancakes, grilling hamburgers, chicken, panini's etc. I'm all about multi purpose ;)TUESDAY 31 March- Dinner with friends (breaking out the grill for the first time this season!)I can't spell "Chili"WEDNESDAY 1 April- No Wednesday service so I'm making my Mom's famous (to me) crock-pot chili! I will serve it with some brown rice cooked in our nifty rice cooker.THURSDAY 2 April- Breakfast for dinner to include chocolate chip pancakes (I'm making these for the first time, I used to use Bisquick but have decided to start making my own mixes instead :)), and bacon!FRIDAY 3 April- Tuna Cakes with quinoa and mixed veggies.SATURDAY 4 April- Homemade pizzaSUNDAY 5 April aka EASTER :)- We're spending Easter with some friends from Church and probably going to have leftovers for dinner :)MONDAY 6 April- Tacos with refried beansTUESDAY 7 April- Lasagna (a friends recipe) with saladWEDNESDAY 8 April- Dinner at churchTHURSDAY 9 April- LeftoversFRIDAY 10 April - Sunday 12 April We'll be with family in Virginia.MONDAY 13 April - Spaghetti with saladTUESDAY 14 April- Dinner with FriendsWEDNESDAY 15 April - 3 May- I'll be in Maryland for my best friends wedding! :)I know many Mom's/Wives have their menu plans down to an art form.  I'm hoping to get to that point someday.  For now, this works great for us :)What are your tips and tricks for menu planning? Do you have any favorite recipes to share?