This article was published on June 1, 2020, right after our first quarantine lockdown. Since then, we’ve been through more and I hope we’ll never have to go through something like this again…
Due to this whole situation of our confinement at home for a long time, the everyday dilemma what to cook for lunch and dinner became relatively easy. You simply checked what you had in your kitchen and cooked with what you had! Even for us working from home, it was easier and didn’t require much planning. But we are (LUCKILY!) back to (roughly) normal. The first 2 weeks it was quite difficult for me to adapt to this new/old situation, after 2 months away from the office. The question “What should I cook today?” eventually turned out to be tough, so I went back to my article (click here to read it) and started planning again, weekly this time, so that I wouldn’t have to worry every morning about what to cook for my family before I left for work.
I am a working mother (like many parents). As I have already said in the past, I wake up very early in the morning and cook before leaving for work, so that my family’s lunch is more freshly cooked on one hand and, on the other hand, because in the evening, after the tiredness of the day, I am unable to do anything. I do it like this because it serves me better, but my friend cooks the night before because she doesn’t “function” well in the morning and she doesn’t want to wake up earlier. Any schedule is right and everyone should do what suits them best.
However, planning what you will cook makes your life easier and you don’t have a headache deciding what to cook every day. You do it once a week or, if you prefer, once a month for 4-5 weeks. I have designed a weekly schedule for you with 4 fields in each day, so you know what you will have for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a Snack. Below this plan I have put a short shopping list so that when you are planning you can also write down what you will need to buy in order to cook the recipes you have planned. So, shopping can be done once a week and fast because we know exactly what we want and don’t waste time at the supermarket.
I have been doing my shopping by phone or online for many years to save time. Only in the difficult period of the pandemic we were going through, I had a hard time doing it because everyone suddenly found this way of shopping so you had to wait two weeks for your order to be delivered. Supermarkets were not prepared for such a large volume of orders, but now they have adapted and invested in this area as well.
Apart from time, you also gain money, because you only buy what you need and not what catches your eye as the products are lined up on the shelves and carefully presented in every possible way, particularly attractive either with a size offer, or with a 1+1 offer, or with a discount, to buy it. It goes without saying that they are doing their job well and that is why they need us who work in the departments of Graphic Design/Marketing/Advertising etc. As you may understand, I have to support the job that I have been doing since 1987!
In your plan don’t forget to include foods that everyone likes, foods that we need to eat for a balanced diet and give yourself a day off by ordering food out. This also helps a lot in including “difficult” foods such as legumes and vegetables the day before, that some members of your family may not usually choose. Since you will have the week’s menu posted on the fridge, beans may not be a favorite food but if fast food follows the next day, they become more tolerable! You will find more ideas and filling instructions in my post “What should I cook today? Gluten Free or not?”
I designed especially for you, a Weekly Meal Plan and you can download it for FREE. (click here to download)
The following Meal Planners are available at a special 20% off discount for all of you who follow me with the coupon VIVOGLUTENFREE
At VIVO4U, you will also find editable Grocery List, that you can write/complete every day and save, the shopping you want to do. (get these also with a 20%-OFF discount, with the coupon VIVOGLUTENFREE ). Before you go for shopping you printed and you have your Shopping List ready. This was particularly useful for me during the period we spent with the coronavirus when you had to go for shopping and it was good to do all your shopping at once so as not to be exposed multiple times. Fortunately, the great danger has passed, and I hope it will never come again. To see all the designs click here
So, print out the meal plan file or make it yourself on a sticky note, grab a pen and colored markers, invite the fussiest family member to sit down with you, and make your weekly meal plan after reading the instructions here.
Good Luck and Bon Appétit!!!