I’ve fallen in love with the entire process of home cooking. The meal planning, the grocery shopping, the chopping and dicing, the aroma of a meal cooking on the stove, and seeing Mike and Peter enjoy a meal I’ve prepared gives me so much joy! It is such a blessing to be able to purchase and cook food for our family. Instead of complaining or coming up with an excuse to eat out, I try to be as intentional and grateful as possible when it comes to time spent in the kitchen.
Eating our meals at home enables us to feel better, save money, and stay closer to our weekly routine. We become in tune with what is in season, support local farmers, and create something beautiful for each other. Home cooking takes time, but with the right mindset, organization, and commitment, the process transforms into a simple one.
Something that helps us fall into a rhythm of home cooking is meal planning. Each Friday, after taking stock of our pantry and cleaning our refrigerator, I spend time meal planning. Meal planning helps us stay organized, spend less time and money at the grocery store, and saves us time throughout the week.
My Meal Planning Process
- Gather essentials: meal planner, pen, agenda, and cookbooks. (If you don’t have a meal planner, make one! On a sheet of paper write down each week day across the top. Along the sides write breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Label a separate piece of paper “grocery list”.)
- Take note of what we have in freezer and refrigerator and can be used in week’s meals.
- Take into account what our upcoming week looks like. Have fully prepared or crockpot meals on busier days.
- Write down meals that are already frozen or prepped.
- Look through cookbooks for inspiration and ideas. Write down needed ingredients on grocery list.
- Write down main entree.
- Write down sides for each meal.
- Write down extra fruits, snacks, and desserts on grocery list.
Meals do not have to be elaborate to be delicious. Some of the best meals we eat are comprised of three or four fresh ingredients. If an entire week of meal planning and preparation seems overwhelming, start with just one day and slowly add on a day or two when you are ready. Here are some of our favorite go-to cookbooks that we turn to each week! Just click on the number or cookbook image to shop!