Dinner Planning

So, we started doing Hello Fresh again. It is good for when we need it. I started going to the gym on a regular basis this fall, which led to a challenging schedule.

I’d get off work, go to the gym, work out, come home, then start dinner. It wasn’t working. I got too tired, and we ate too late. So the Husband suggested that we start up Hello Fresh, and he’d cook when I went to the gym.

It worked fine, but was rather expensive. The Husband and I talked about how to replicate the experience with regular groceries.

I thought through a few ideas… database? Google sheets? An app? We both liked the paper instructions (even though I went rogue most days). I have a bunch of small index-like cards that I bought for another project.

Five colors, small, and with a hole punched in the corner. They even came with rings!

The thing I liked best about Hello Fresh was that they had a protein, vegetable, and starch (usually). A sauce for some. I’m a simple girl, and that’s what I want. So I used the cards to replicate.

I have one color for protein, one for vegetables, one for salad, one for starch, and one for sauce.

So you start with a protein. Pick the one that you want. It will tell you on the front what components to choose.

So for a pan roasted steak, I’d add a vegetable, salad, starch, and sauce. The back has cooking instructions.

Then you move on to vegetables.

And so on as you go down the list. I bought a box to put the cards in, and voila.

I’ve got blanks and a pen to add to my repertoire. I also have cards for entire meals, so for example, I have a roast chicken that is the whole meal. It all goes together in my box.

So when we run out of Hello Fresh meals, we will sit down and pick meals for the week. Each card will go on a ring, and it will go in a Pyrex dish with the ingredients. The card has ingredients listed, which will set my grocery list.

When I get home from the store, we can process the components and put them in the Pyrex. This will also allow some economies of scale as we can buy a family pack of chicken, for example, and vacu-seal them in packs of two servings.

It will take work on Sundays to prepare for the week, but hopefully it will save time and money, and still let me go to the gym once I get a new job.

Things I’m planning to add are calories/fat/fiber/carbs for the components, and maybe suggestions for things that go together.

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