Meal Planning

How We’ve Expanded our Taste Buds and Simplified our Pantry

posted by Andrea | 02/23/2017 | 5 comments

While I don’t think I’m completely “stuck in a rut” when it comes to trying new recipes, I will admit to usually making recipes with “normal” ingredients I already have in the house — because I hate buying specific spices, oils, vinegars, or sauces just for one recipe (especially if I’m not even sure we’ll like the recipe).

Today I’m sharing how the Blue Apron meal delivery service has completely expanded our taste buds while simplifying our pantry… plus, I have 3 FREE meals for anyone who wants to try Blue Apron!

Back to Basics: Meal Planning For Beginners

posted by Andrea | 02/2/2017 | 49 comments

I fully understand how overwhelming meal planning can seem if you’ve never done it before, if you’re not a natural planner, if you don’t particularly love cooking, if you’ve tried before and failed, if you have allergies or other picky eaters, if your spouse isn’t appreciative of your efforts, or if you are a perfectionist.

With that said, I hope today’s post will simplify the process SO much that anyone who has ever wanted to meal plan will be encouraged and motivated to try it… even if it’s just for one week!

A Simple Twist on the Classic Cheesburger

posted by Andrea | 12/12/2016 | 6 comments

One food our entire family devours without a single complaint is cheeseburgers — even better when they are accompanied by Culver’s fries or our favorite baked herbed potato wedges!

Today I’m sharing one very simple tweak that adds lots of flavor and a sort-of grownup gourmet taste to our homemade burgers!

My Meal Plan (5 years and 3 kids later)

posted by Andrea | 09/23/2016 | 26 comments

Way back in September of 2011, I shared the brand new way of meal planning I had been using for only a few weeks at that time.

Now, 5 years and 3 children later, I’m sharing how one small modification has allowed this same basic meal planning method to continually work so well for us!

My TOP TIP to Simplify The School Year

posted by Andrea | 08/11/2016 | 27 comments

As I child, I LOVED the start of another school year! As a teacher’s wife with 3 young children at home, I can’t say I have that same love and happy anticipation for another school year to begin!

However, I’m working ahead now to simplify the start of our school year… and I’m sharing my top tip today!

Simple Meatless Meals… for people who love meat!

posted by Andrea | 06/2/2016 | 21 comments

While meat is most likely the most expensive part of almost every meal, our family isn’t necessarily the vegetarian type (read: we LOVE meat!)

If you feel the same way, I’d like to share several meatless meals our family enjoys on a regular basis without feeling like we are missing out on our meat! In fact, many of these meals are staples in our weekly meal plans and some of our kids’ favorites!

How I Manage to Only Cook 2-3 Meals a Week

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2016 | 45 comments

Although I do enjoy being in the kitchen, there is no way I want to be in the kitchen for hours every single afternoon just to make dinner for my family each night. However, I’m also not willing to order takeout or eat sandwiches every night either.

Instead, over the past 3+ years, I’ve settled into a rough routine that allows us to eat homemade meals almost every night of the week — while I only need to fully prepare 2-3 of those meals.

My New Favorite Catfish Recipe + 2 Free Meals From Blue Apron

posted by Andrea | 12/16/2015 | 10 comments

Today I’m sharing my new favorite catfish recipe (that even Simon devoured)!

I’m also offering an opportunity to get 2 free meals from Blue Apron — and yes, this might just make the perfect last-minute, clutter-free gift for someone on your list this year!

How Cinnamon Rolls and Frozen Pizza Prevent Meal Planning Burnout

posted by Andrea | 10/16/2015 | 30 comments

Have you experienced meal planning burnout?

Today, I’m sharing a super simple strategy I’ve been using for many years to give me just enough time away from the kitchen that I don’t get totally burnt out!

My Favorite Make-Ahead-and-Freeze Meals

posted by Andrea | 07/2/2015 | 8 comments

With the impending arrival of a new baby any day now, I’ve been asked over and over again what types of meals I’m making ahead to alleviate the need for as much cooking later on.

Today, I’m sharing that list!

Simplify and Streamline Your Meal Planning

posted by Andrea | 05/12/2015 | 26 comments

You all know how much I LOVE to systematize things so they take less time and run more efficiently… right?

Well today, I’m sharing a little more about Blue Apron — a fabulous meal planning service that might just completely simplify, streamline, and systematize your weekly meals!

How I Simplify Meal Planning with “Go-To Meals”

posted by Andrea | 04/29/2015 | 15 comments

While I don’t particularly love the process of meal planning every week, I also know that if I don’t make some sort of general plan, our weeknights will be extra crazy and stressed.

Thankfully, I have a whole arsenal of go-to recipes that I can make at a moments notice as I always have the ingredients in the house. Today, I’m sharing a bunch of our favorite go-to meals.

Freezing Cooked Meat (my biggest time + money saver in the kitchen)

posted by Andrea | 11/10/2014 | 47 comments

By now, most of you know that I’m a huge advocate for keeping our deep freezer fully stocked in an effort to save time in the kitchen and money at the grocery store. However, if I had to pick my #1 biggest time + money saver in the kitchen… today’s tip would be it!

Click through to read more!

World Wide Dinners: Menu Planning Giveaway

posted by Andrea | 09/18/2014 | 1 comment

I know many of you have struggled with meal planning, grocery shopping, and nailing down your system — especially during this busy back-to-school time of year.

Thankfully, World Wide Dinners has come to our rescue, offering simple, healthy meal planning options (complete with grocery lists, pantry staples, and LOTS of amazing recipes). Come enter to win a FULL YEARS worth of free menu plans, shopping lists, and more!

Save Hundreds Each Month With a Few Brown Bags

posted by Andrea | 08/26/2014 | 34 comments

Are you looking for ways to save money on back-to-school essentials?

Today, I’m sharing a way you could potentially save hundreds of dollars each month on something you’ll need every single days for each of your school-age children!

7 Steps to Super Simple Meal Planning

posted by Andrea | 08/7/2014 | 21 comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about meal planning the past few days — and about how much time, energy, stress, money, and calories it saves me each week.

If you’re new to meal planning (or just got off schedule this summer) today’s post shares 7 steps to make the process as simple as possible!

5 Tips for Giving the Gift of Food

posted by Andrea | 04/8/2014 | 27 comments

Over the past 5 weeks since Simon’s birth, Dave and I have been blessed with numerous meals and other food gifts.

And since I’ve shared my love of giving and receiving food gifts before, I thought I’d do another post about little tips and tricks you might consider the next time you’re giving the gift of food — because I just don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate the gift of food.

My Top 10 Favorite Food Posts

posted by Andrea | 04/3/2014 | comment

As I planned ahead for the arrival of baby Simon, I thought it might be fun to resurrect some of MY favorite posts from the past 3.5 years of blogging.

Today, I’m sharing some of MY favorite food posts — all about freezer cooking, meal-planning, canning, baking in bulk, and more!

How I Avoid Meal-Planning Burnout

posted by Andrea | 02/18/2014 | 37 comments

I get lots and lots of meal-planning questions — and more recently, I’ve gotten a handful of questions asking how I avoid meal-planning burnout.

At first, I wasn’t quite sure how to answer this question, but after thinking about it for a few weeks, I came up with 6 main factors that have really helped me to simplify my meal-planning and (for the most part) avoid meal-planning burnout.

Our “Normal” (and very simple) Weekly Meal Plan

posted by Andrea | 10/21/2013 | 28 comments

Two years ago, I started posting our meal plans each week — but then I realized that since we eat really simple foods and we eat the same things on a regular basis, these posts would probably get old. FAST. So I quit.

But ever since then, I’ve gotten a fair number of emails asking me to post more about what meals we eat on a weekly basis — so today, I’m doing just that!