Most Saturdays consist of trips to the local Soulard Farmer’s Market here in the STL. The family packs up and drives down town with our wagon and kids in tow, and we cruise through the venders and try to pick seasonal goodies and staples that we need for the week. (I can usually only make it through one tunnel before I tell the hubby to go on without me and pick out what we need, and then I take the boys over to the playground) This is the biggest driving force for what we’ll eat that week.
We always get the following items on our trips to the market:
Apples, Garlic, Onions (red and white), Bananas, Peppers (all colors), Seasonal Squashes, Summer Melons (watermelon or cantaloupe), Pears, Peaches, or whatever happens to be in season.
These tend to be our snack items and fillers in salads, etc – not necessarily what we build our meals around, unless we plan it out. For example, we will get giant mushrooms for stuffed mushrooms occasionally.
After we hit up the market, we usually head to Sam’s Club and get the “BIG” stuff. We buy spinach and lettuce in bulk, stock up on fresh salsa, frozen chicken and fish, individual hummus packets, frozen fruit (for smoothies) as well as kid stuff like Pull Ups and wipes.
Our last stop is usually Trader Joe’s. LOVE TJs. This is where we get more specific to our needs and get the items for our planned meals. We buy a lot of our meat here, any extra fruits and veggies we couldn’t find at the market, cereals for kids, eggs, milk for boys, almond milk, quinoa, honey, chips and oats.
We try to get all of our shopping done in one day, so we aren’t running to the grocery store every night, even though it isn’t far from home. We freeze a lot of our meats until we are ready for use and always keep chicken nuggets and frozen veggies in the garage freezer for emergency meals.
For those that don’t know already, we are a Gluten Free family since my son’s diagnosis with Celiac Disease in July. So, all of our groceries and meals are GF. And surprisingly, we are able to shop pretty easily and cater to his specific needs with trips to regular grocery stores and by sticking to real foods and skipping out on most of the processed junk. ..which is good for all of us any way!
Sundays are for baking. I usually try to make one big casserole for me and the hubby to eat for breakfast for the week. And I also like to whip up a week’s worth of GF pancakes for the boys.
Here are links to some of our favorites. Click to see the recipe.
Sunday evenings usually consists of a trip to my mom’s house for a family dinner. She usually grills up something yummy, and my sisters and I each bring a side. We usually bring a veggie or salad, and always have a glass of wine to start our week off on the right foot.
My goal each week is to cook at least three meals a week. I love using the crockpot for my weeknight meals. I am a kindergarten teacher and never feel like starting a meal from scratch when I am just walking in the door from a long day of work. I try to cook my meals on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. Wednesdays are our left-over night and Fridays we usually reserve for a “kids-meal” treat for the boys, or have a dinner out to eat with friends or family.
Here is a sample plan of our week-night dinner plans.
Hawaiian Haystacks and Frozen Veggie
Left-Overs from Monday and Tuesday
Fish and Veggie and Quinoa
(usually a frozen fish from Sam’s)
Kids’ Meal or Dinner Out
(we do GF chicken nuggets, mashed cauliflower and watermelon during summers)
I like to start strong early in the week, and then taper off a bit – because that is how I work (and most others as well). I get tired and less motivated towards the end of the week, so I should plan for that. Be realistic with your planning as well. If you have gymnastics or soccer on Thursdays, then maybe that is your kids’ meal night, or your left-over day. Find a groove that works for you and stick to it. Don’t feel bad about repeating meals either. I like to stick with meals for a few weeks, to a month and then switch it up. This is my “end of summer” plan, and as it creeps closer to Fall, I will try and find a few new Fall recipes that the family and I like and stick with those for a while.
I will save our lunch routines for another post and try to get some pics of what the boys and I eat from day to day, including daily snacks.
As always, feel free to let me know if you have questions about meal planning and organizing. Each person has a system that works best of them. Follow us on Pinterest : FourFitSisters or my personal page: Adie Viefhaus Smith for more healthy or gluten-free food ideas. My sisters may have completely different ways to plan and organize than I do, and I am anxious to hear how your world works as well!
Thanks for stopping by!