One of the things I learned as a newly married woman is that people show love in different ways. Making a good meal is one of the ways I show love. My husband shows his love by doing the dishes. (I have the best husband ever!) I also learned that making an amazing meal takes planning, creativity and patience.
Each weekend I try to plan out my next weeks menu so that I make one grocery trip instead of 4. (Which is what I did this last week.) Sometimes I am successful and sometimes it doesn't happen. I have tried a couple of different systems to plan my meals. I tried a monthly plan. Holy Hannah! It was just a little too stressful. (But some people like them.) I tried a couple of different excel worksheets found on the web. Still too tricky. I found what worked best for me was a simple weekly notepad that I picked up at Michaels. I like it because it has space to write down what I need to pick up at the store. When I am done shopping, I just tack it to the front of the fridge to give hubby an idea of what to expect each week.
One day I will make/buy something like this:
1. Have a list of go to meals or ideas - I have a list of family favorites on my computer and a pinterest board of recipes to try.
2. Have a couple of easy back-up meals planned.
3. Don't worry if your plan doesn't work out.
4. Planning ahead saves money and time. I hate when you are starving and you look into your pantry and nothing looks good.
5. Plan your menu around what you already have and what is currently on sale.
6. Double check you have the ingredients you need. Or be flexible enough to make a creative meal.