Some of these became so engrained in our heads that my sister still maintains a "Pizza Friday" tradition. I went completely crazy, and decided to have "Pizza Saturday". I know, alert the police, this girl has gone wild.
I try not to keep a very regimented food menu, so as to not get stuck in too many ruts, but as time goes on, we definitely are getting more and more into a system, and I find it really helps when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping.
Each week, we try to aim for the following
- Pizza (usually Saturday)
- Spaghetti (usually Sunday... served with a glass of wine and eaten in front of the TV watching the Simpsons, Bob's Burger, Family Guy, American Dad and the Good Wife -- a last chance to relax before the weekend is over... and always a great item to have as left-overs for our lunch on Monday!)
- One meatless meal
- One new recipe
- One slow cooker meal
This plan leaves us, on average, only 2 meals where we really have to think about what we want (on average because there have been times when we've had a new recipe which is both meatless and uses the slow cooker). For these two meals, I have 3 strategies I can use to think of them
- Fall back on old favourites, like tacos
- Plan something I've been craving for a while (like peanut chicken. I would kill for some peanut chicken. Yes, even as I'm writing this, at 9:13 on a Saturday morning. I love anything that contains peanut butter more than life)
- Create ideas based on what we seem to have a lot of kicking around our pantry. (Currently, we have 4 open containers of pasta, plus the big packages of chicken were on sale last week, so I foresee some chicken mozzarella in our future).
I also prep as much as I can stand after we come back from grocery shopping.
- Separate meat into how much you intend to use per day prior to freezing, so you aren't defrosting more than you need and risking spoilage
- Chop up vegetables and package fruit so you have grab-and-go containers to throw into your bag to snack on during the day (to avoid the whole: "I'll just buy a cookie for $1.50 even though I'm not really that hungry" budgetary disaster).
- Make a giant salad to be stored in the fridge (to prevent the whole: "I'm too lazy to make anything else, so no vegetables for us!" attitude).