Minimizing and Zero Waste

Minimal Mondays – Meals

I decided to try something different at the beginning of the year with establishing meal plans. In January I planned the whole month of meals with new meals once a week. This was great for the first two weeks but by the third week, I was tired of having leftovers hanging out in my fridge. I would make a new recipe and then ended up eating it for lunch the next five to six days.

So in February, I decided to try something different; every day of the week was designated a specific dinner:

Mondays – Chicken Sandwiches                                   Tuesdays – Tacos

Wednesdays – Burgers                                                     Thursdays – Nachos

Fridays – Steaks and Veggies                                         Saturdays – Left Overs

Sundays – Something Special

This seemed to work out great because my taco meat from Tuesday was finished up Thursday and with Joe’s work schedule we could finish any other leftovers on Saturday. Sunday specials were something different that we don’t normally have like a Ham and Potato Casserole, pizza, or Blueberry BBQ Chicken.

Heading into March I have decided to continue this system until it gets boring. Occasionally we will mix things up if I forget to pull something out of the freezer but overall it works out great! Not only has this system seemed to work out in making meal planning easy but it also makes buying groceries that much easier.

If you are looking to do something similar, I would start by determining how much time you have to make dinner every night of the week and any other commitments that you might have that would affect how much time you have to make dinner. My restrictions are that my husband has to be to work usually at 5, leaving at 4:30 but sometimes he gets called in early on Mondays. For these reasons, I chose 30-minute meals for most days of the week to allow myself to get Joe’s dinner done but also everything reheats well for my dinner later in the night.

Once you decide what your favorite meals are you can determine what you usually have leftover and find ways of eating those up in meals throughout the rest of the week. The best practice of minimalism is to not let anything go to waste so I would suggest either eating those leftovers or stop making that for dinner. We normally have leftover taco meat and burgers so I decided to use the leftover meat for nachos later in the week and a leftover night on Saturday when our dinner schedule is a bit strange due to Joe’s sleep schedule.

Try to find fast, easy, convenient things to make for breakfast when you’re in a hurry or too tired to make something from scratch during the week. I will usually make a batch of muffins on Monday night and leave the weekends for other favorites like pancakes or waffles that I make from scratch.

Another recommendation I read was to make recipes with ingredients that you go through consistently. You know that one recipe that uses 1 tablespoon of cornstarch that you make once every three months? It’s time to ditch that recipe or find others with cornstarch so you use up the bottle before it expires unless you’re able to buy it in small quantities.

I’ll be explaining every bit of my bulk-buying experience with you next week, can’t wait to let you know how that goes in my fairly urban setting.

What are some of your go-to weeknight meals? Do you prefer to make extra meals and freeze them for weeknights?


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