Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Non-Processed Project/ Meal Planning - less FAIL, more WIN!

The weird thing about having a job that actually pays money is that I assumed our finances would go back to awesomeness once we got my first paycheck (in addition to The Hubs paychecks, naturally). Twice the money = back to normal, right?

Well, wrong. Turns out we are not as good with money as we thought. Partly based on circumstances from this past year, but partly our own spendy natures. Our biggest issue, as I've mentioned before, is we eat out of convenience. A lot. However, I'm trying to get back on top of it - I've had good weeks and bad weeks. The "formula" I'm working with is slow-cooking on the weekend, 1 meal "out", and 1 meal "frozen" - that leaves 4 dinners that I need to be easy-peasy, as I'm still the only one cooking (while I'm also the only one gone for 10+ hours).

Last week was a BAD week. I had a great plan, but I just didn't take into account how TIRED I would be for a few of the days. I didn't get home until 8pm 3 times last week (on the plus side, two nights I also had free dinner provided for me, so that helped in the wallet area), and then the one day I was home early and PLANNING to cook, but I was emotionally exhausted. So I only actually cooked once. We still ate from home (sandwiches, leftovers from Sunday, frozen meals), so it was still cheaper than usual, but it made me feel like a failure.

Same with eating Non-Processed food. While I am still reading labels and have cut back on putting bad stuff in my body, I'm still purchasing without thinking when it's a last-minute/non-planned thing and eating out more than I'd like... and since my logical side is drowned out by my illogical side's yelling, I don't hear my logical side saying, "Calm down, you've been eating this way for 20+ years, it's going to take some trial and error" while my illogical side screams "OMG YOU SUCK, HOW DARE YOU NOT BE PERFECT ALREADY."

Well, I'm deciding I'm only a failure if I don't try, try again. That's where I usually fail as well - I'm not 100% perfect, so I settle for 100% failure instead of, say, the 65% of perfection that it was. So we're trying again! Continuing to purchase better-for-me foods, and being better about watching what I purchase on the run. For the meal planning this week, I followed the same formula and actually repeated a lot of what I intended to cook last week for this week (which is fine, 'cuz I don't have a TON of keeping-me-late things to do this week, thank goodness).

Since I'm always looking for meal plan ideas, I figure it would hurt to share my plan for this week with y'all! Here it is:

Sunday night (tonight):
  • Crockpot BBQ chicken for sandwiches (new-to-me recipe - a little heavy on the ketchup, but overall tasty!)
  • Garlic fries from Trader Joe's (pretty accurate to the ballpark version - Adding Parmesan cheese makes it delish)
Monday night:
  • Freezer food (I'm having dinner with a friend, The Hubs will fend for himself)
Tuesday night:
  • Pasta primavera using pre-made Alfredo sauce, broccoli/cauliflower, and shrimp. Been craving it something fierce.
Wednesday night:
  • Taco Soup! I FLIPPIN' LOVE taco soup, and I've been craving it. NOMNOMNOM.(I actually don't include the tomatoes or chillies, and add a can of black beans - still delish! NOM NOM NOM.)
Thursday night:
  • Oven-"fried" chicken (I prefer thighs, The Hubs prefers breasts - I make both)
  • Microwave mashed potatoes - I'm using Yukon Golds. I've yet to try it this way before, but I LOVE mashed potatoes; a chance to make them easily in 12 minutes as opposed to 30+? SOLD. 
Friday night:
  • Freezer or Night out!
Saturday night:
  • Crockpot layered dinner - steak and potatoes, mmm. Might make some veggies to go with it, haven't decided yet. And I feel we've earned some steak. 
As for breakfasts, still sticking with the fruit and yogurt parfaits (just bought some frozen berries to mix in with the frozen strawberries I still need to use up!), and for lunch this week I'm finishing up some lunchmeat and then sticking with PB&J's. I'm getting tired of sammiches, though, so any suggestions are welcome for other easy lunch options (other than leftovers).


  1. Dude I totally bookmarked the chicken and the taco soup recipe. TJ's sweet potato fries are also really good if you're into those. I can't really give suggestions on the lunches since I'm the queen of frozen/processed microwave lunches.

  2. baby steps love! All you can do is plan. You should start pushing bobby to get is butt in the kitchen! ;-)



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