How to Be an Amazing Meal Planner

As I sit back typing out this post, gathering recipes, ideas, and organizing schedules, I’m reminded of simpler times. Growing up in rural Wyoming, buffalo roaming the wild, and tending to my family’s ranch brings a single tear of nostalgia to my eye. I was the youngest of 12, and nothing brought me more joy than slopping around horse shit all day. I was always rewarded with a heaping bowl of boxed hamburger helper at the end of the day, sealing in all the folksy warmth. Some of my fondest memories are of spending time around the kitchen, arguing over the package directions and deciding exactly how much butter is too much to add to a dish (answer: there is no amount too great). 

I’m not sure if any of this happened, or if I saw this in a movie, but I’m pretty sure this was my life. 

Before I post any more recipes, I want to let you in on the secret life of my meal planning. It’ll be sure to get you organized, leaving your whole family moderately satisfied with the job you’re doing as the house spouse. 

Step 1: Find the recipes, collect them all like adults trying to relive their childhood collect Pokémon

This woman clearly has never had a street taco.
There are certain websites and cookbooks I browse often, but I also get a lot from Pinterest. I usually spend about 17 hours a week on Pinterest. Around 10-15mins of those hours is spent on recipes, the rest of the time I look for inspirational quotes, exercises I never plan on doing, and sexy pictures of famous people that are currently really old and/or dead.  

This is totally true. None of my exes saw it coming when I slashed their tires.

Out of the recipes I get on Pinterest, only about 2% are successful, in that my family will actually eat them. Some might think I’m crazy for using Pinterest as my source because of this, but I’d like to think I’m a clever risk taker and I will eventually surpass even the most accomplished professional bakers. 

Can’t believe I found this rare picture of two of the sexiest men alive. Together!

Step 2: Write a grocery list

I take a lot of time on this part. I rarely look at my pantry or fridge to see if I already have stuff, so I tend to have doubles, as well as I have to get creative with ingredients because I don’t have stuff for recipes. I’m preparing to be on Chopped so it’s ok. 

Like 75% of the food in here is expired. The rest is almond milk.

Step 3: Go shopping, late in the evening, with a cranky baby, and everyone is hungry

Only this way will you be motivated enough to get it all done in under 3 hours. Sure, you may forget stuff on your list, and you’ll get more crap you didn’t plan on getting, but consider this: you will be so happy to have those extra powdered donuts lying around when you’re bored. 

Step 4: Give up, order fast food

If you take a tasteful picture of the fast food, it basically makes it as healthy as a kale smoothie. Science.

There is no way to sustain this life. You’re hungry, the baby finally fell asleep in the car, and you’re tired as fuck. All you want to do is eat crap and have a conversation with your husband about adult things. The last thing you want to do is slave over a hot stove, getting sweaty and adding to your already weird stench of breastmilk, baby poop, and dog musk. It’s ok, I still love you. You’ll make that casserole tomorrow. 

Don’t forget the wine. You might forget to get diapers, but don’t ever forget wine. Drink it and forget to take a picture for your blog.

Tears for Fears,

Mary Ellen 


One thought on “How to Be an Amazing Meal Planner

  1. Somehow, I’ve always considered chocolate almond milk too much of an indulgence to buy. But since it was the only thing in your fridge that wasn’t expired, I decided to go for it today. True story. And now when I get diabetes, it will officially be your fault.

    Liked by 1 person

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