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Home > Spent a Lot on Being Sick and My Opinion on Meal Planning

Spent a Lot on Being Sick and My Opinion on Meal Planning

February 4th, 2018 at 09:46 am

So first... I have spent a ton of money on being sick. I have pneumonia (no comments please, I am getting better and I've heard it all from my friends). Bought a humidifier, loads of drugs, I'm sure the copays are going to be awful. Missed teaching my classes (so I won't get that income). It's frustrating now that I'm starting to feel better. But I AM feeling better, and that's all that matters.

Enough of that (believe me, I've had enough of it).

On to meal planning.

So one of the things about being home in bed/on sofa for over two weeks is that I've been on the internet A LOT. We don't have tv. I did watch a series (A House through Time) which I loved and a movie (Hidden Figures) which I loved. And for some reason my facebook feed is full of "Prep 5 Dinners in an Hour" which I don't love. There was a lunch version, too, which I watched because it was a cute little girl and since I've been sick F has been making her own lunch.

The Lunch One - not enough food!!! I was horrified! If I sent F with some veggies and dip, a piece of cheese and a muffin, she wouldn't make it through the day! She does do a lot of sports. But seriously!

My Lunch Planning:
- a main (deviled eggs, caprese sandwich, turkey wrap, burrito, dolmas, avocado/tomato wrap)
- a veggie (carrots/celery/cucumber/snap peas and dip, a salad)
- a fruit
- a starch (chips/salsa, popcorn, seaweed, japanese rice crackers)
- a dessert (yes, I give her a dessert - usually a small piece of chocolate)
- a snack for some other time during the day (nuts, string cheese, trail mix, hardboiled egg, dried mango or pineapple)

And the Five Dinners in an Hour - I've seen a bunch of these, and they are all based on CHICKEN and BEEF and PORK. Every night is meat-based. We are not vegetarian, but a lot of our meals are. Most of the Five Dinners had almost NO vegetables in them - ack!

My Meal Planning for six nights:
- Something with Fish (tuna melts with a salad, fish with a veg and rice, souvlaki bowl, teriyaki bowl with red peppers/bok choy, salmon cakes with red peppers)
- Something with Pasta (red sauce with zucchini, carbonara and a big salad, pad thai with lots of veggies, pasta with balsamic and spinach)
- Something with Eggs or Potatoes (crash potatoes/vegetable, frittata with spinach, Mexican eggs, baked potatoes/vegetable, aloo gobi in the crockpot)
- Something Bready/Cheesy (enchiladas with black beans, risotto with peas, quesadillas with guacamole, roasted veggies and rice, tostadas, polenta with beans or veggies)
- Something with Chicken (roasted chicken in the crockpot, baked penne, chicken queso casserole with the leftover crockpot chicken, posole in the crockpot, asian meatballs in the crockpot)
- Something from the Freezer (leftover from earlier meals!)

I know my meal plan doesn't get everything done ahead of time, but I organize my meals based on activities that evening. Some nights, it needs to be cooking away in the crockpot. Some nights the 13 minutes it takes to make pasta (I prep everything while the pasta is cooking so I can get dinner on the table in 15 mins) is ok. Some nights I can spend some time making dinner (enchiladas, pad thai, souvlaki bowls).

I am putting this out there in case it helps someone... or maybe gives you new dinner ideas. If you have an awesome (fast) dinner idea that is vegetable based esp. if it is made in the crockpot, I would love to hear it!!

8 Responses to “Spent a Lot on Being Sick and My Opinion on Meal Planning”

  1. alliecat79 Says:

    Hope you feel better soon!!! My husband just found out he's had walking pneumonia for two months.

    On the meal planning, skinnytaste.com got my started when I first tried meal planning. She's got some neat tools to help you plan too. Lots of recipes and really pretty healthy. I've made zucchini meatballs and those were pretty good!

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    We too create our meal plan based on the calendar of events and obligations. We didn't used to, and we found that some nights we didn't have time to cook or whatever. So now our spreadsheet notes any evening activities so we'll know who'll be gone and when. And which nights we'll all be busy and need something pretty fast.

    Our easy meals are either sandwiches or pasta, typically. Sometimes they involve fake meats, which can get expensive (and not as healthy). They are:
    - Quesadillas (with avocado, cherry tomatoes, chips and salsa, and/or Spanish rice).
    - Sloppy joes with tater tots and fresh veggies (we use veggie meat and Manwich)
    - Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
    - Veggie burgers and fries
    - Bean burritos
    - Spaghetti and tomato sauce (prepared jarred spaghetti sauce if we're REALLY short on time)
    - Macaroni and tomato (weird thing my family made up--macaroni, plain tomato sauce, butter, pepper and maybe onions if we're feeling really ambitious)
    - Taco salad
    - Spaghetti with parsley and breadcrumbs
    - Hot dogs, beans and fresh veggies
    - Chikn nuggets, fries and broccoli
    - Stovetop mac n cheese with fresh veggies
    - Cereal, toast and fruit

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Some good meals on your list! I agree. Some of the ideas in these posts about prep are unrealistic, especially if one doesn't want to be hungry in 30 minutes.

  4. Buendia Says:

    Alliecat - that was a nice blog! She does things similarly to how I do it, except I have three or more vegetarian meals a week (my eggy/potatoey, bready/cheesy and pasta are all veg)... but I got some great recipes from her!

    Ceejay - was wondering how you did it... because I know your vegetarian... we don't use much fake meat mostly because it's usually not GF and (as you mentioned) sometimes expensive. So we do fish burgers instead of veggie burgers (trader joe's!). I want to put taco salad on our list!

    Rob62521 - Thank you! Yes, I am embarrassed that I eat a LOT of food (but in my defense, I dropped down to 109 from 113 since I've been sick - so I obviously need the food). And my 7th grader - who is at soccer practice as I type this - maybe even a bit more than I do even though she weighs 82 lbs! I am often curious what parents put in their kids' lunches... it seems to me you need a lot of good fuel to get through the day. They have PE 4 days a week, and their brains are working hard! F says she would never trade lunches with anyone else except her friend A whose mom is so much like me, it's weird (A's mom brought me soup last week - aw!).

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm someone who doesn't mind eating the same thing over and over. Smile So, a big pot of veggie chili, a pot of a grain, a bunch of steamed sweet potatoes, a ton of roasted veggies all prepped on Sunday - and my lunches and dinners just need whatever dark green I have on hand to be finished. Breakfast is a big smoothie and pb toast.

    I do do some other things too sometimes (like I made a batch of black bean burgers today that'll mostly be frozen for pulling out when wanting something quick and different. I'll also freeze my leftover chili - so I only have to make it every other week.)

    Hope you feel better!

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    Ah yes... there's not a single item on our "quick and easy" list that's naturally GF...taco salad is the closest (some vegetarian ground beef is GF).

    One of my best friends is GF, and we both love food and cooking and eating, so we've both gotten quite good at coming up with vegan/GF dishes to accommodate one another's dietary restrictions. Big Grin But it's not where I naturally go; I love my gluten!

  7. Bluebird Says:

    Lunches are tough! My boys will not eat the cafeteria food, so we (me) pack lunches every day. DH will make sandwiches sometimes. It's usually a massive sandwich of leftover meat (beef, pork, etc) or lunchmeat with condiments, lettuce, pickles, cheese, onion, etc. with baked chips, reusable water bottle and treat. They have money in their lunch accounts to buy something else if they need it. My 12 and 11 year old boys eat a lot!

  8. snafu Says:

    Happy to hear from you. I Hope you continue on the road to good health.

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