You are here:

Home Cooking/Preparing food every week

Advertisement


Question
Hello!

I enjoy cooking a lot, but I tend to get myself overwhelmed with all the choices of recipes that I can make. I usually end up cooking two really good meals for my husband and myself each week, and the meals can usually stretch as leftovers for lunch when we're at work the next day. Then the rest of the week we resort to eating ramen or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or something along those lines...) because I've used up everything we bought over the weekend to make the first 2 meals. Our budget is not very big right now so we can only buy a certain amount of stuff each week...

Could you give me some advice on meal planning for the week? My husband and I don't have children yet and we love all sorts of different foods although I am trying to get us both eating healthier.

I would say that I am more open-minded when it comes to eating healthier food. I'm not trying to switch to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but I don't mind trying vegan products. My husband, on the other hand, will usually make some kind of disgusted face whenever I bring up anything that has the word 'soy' or something similar in it.

Overall, I just want to eat and be a healthier person, and I don't mind splurging once or twice a month on something that's "bad for me."

Thank you for your advice. :)

Answer
Hi Monica,
So the good news is that you like to cook and you're open to new ideas. That's a great place to start. I like to plan my weekly meals for the days that we are working and wing it on the weekends. I do the shopping and prep on my days off. I also save money by using main ingredients that make two different dishes.

For example, if I am thinking Spaghetti I will double the sauce recipe. This is cheaper than cooking two separate batches and saves you time. Use half the sauce is for Spaghetti on night one. The leftover sauce is refrigerated in an airtight container. On night two I will make another double recipe meal like Chicken Veggie soup served with bread. I bake off the whole package of chicken breasts with basic spices and freeze the unused meat. Freeze the leftover soup after dinner, save some of that bread too. On night three I'll take the cold marinara from Spaghetti night and make something like French Bread Pizza with the leftover bread and a little cheese etc, served with salad on the side. On night four I use two of the  frozen chicken breasts to make Fajitas (saute onions, peppers, chicken and serve on flour tortillas) with refried beans on the side. On night five I defrost the soup, add some Bisquik dumplings to it and there we have chicken and dumplings. There is my whole work week and I only cooked THREE main recipes!

I know it sounds complicated but it really isn't. All of the main ingredients can even be cooked on your day off and pre-portioned for the different meals they will make. it keeps you from running to the store during the week too which can really add up.
Use your dinner items for dinner and have the peanut butter and Ramen for lunch. You and your husband deserve a nice hot meal together in the evening.

I hope this was helpful, and I'll be happy to help you with more ideas if you need me. Your best bet is to study a cookbook and think how you can change the recipes to fit your needs.  

Home Cooking

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Jana Turner

Expertise

First of all, I LOVE to cook. I raised four kids and worked so quick and easy was very important. I can answer most any food/recipe question. Home style cooking is my favorite forum, but I also am knowledgable in sauces and some saute. Questions about food storage, food safety, quick and easy meals, cook ahead meals for freezing and hostess ideas are welcome here.

Experience

I have over 30 years in the food and hospitality industry. I am a certified serve-safe manager. I have entered a few recipe contests and won grand prize in one. I write recipes for fun and am working on a collection of favorites.

Education/Credentials
Serv-Safe Managers Series Certification

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.