Meal Planning for the Truly Lazy (Or Busy)

So I have to confess something. I really, really hate cooking. I love to eat. Eating is great – I will do it for the rest of my life. And in abundance.

But cooking? That is for the birds.

Some of my friends cook to relax. Pfft what? How can I relax when I’m obsessing over the recipe and steps? Ensuring that I have all the things I need? Nope. I’m too high strung for that mess.

I have zero chill in the kitchen.

Truthfully, I honestly have no chill in general but that’s neither here nor there.

While I can’t cook, I sure can plan. My obsessive, type-A self can make one mean list and schedule. But there is another problem afoot.

I’m also kinda lazy.

Well. That’s not really fair – let’s be real. I’m super busy with two jobs, kids and such – but when I am at home, I am 100% lazy. I’m so spent that I really don’t have the energy to tap into my obsessive powers to meal plan. But I like to eat and if it were up to my husband, we would have pizza or chili for literally every meal.

So I had to improvise, and thus – my lazy meal planning was born.

emeals

We have an emeals subscription that we get billed for on a quarterly basis. I love that we can change our “subscription” type – we can go from “kid-friendly” to “Mediterranean” when I had that one week where I was like, “I’m going to be a healthy person – we are going to eat Mediterranean” – I don’t know what happened to me. I guess I blacked out and forgot I had kids because they wouldn’t touch anything we made that week.

We get updated menus weekly and can save our favorites to easily access them to make them again. And – the best part? We can easily add the ingredients to a Wal-Mart shopping list to do grocery pick-up.

Shared Pinterest Board

When the insomnia strikes, I scour Pinterest for different recipes. Most of them are different variations of, “slow cooker recipes” or “easy recipes” or “easy slow cooker recipes” (aka – please don’t make me cook. I want to cook as little as possible). Initially I had my own Pinterest board, but my husband usually winds up cooking the meals I plan out and I was getting tired of sending him links so I made us a shared board that he can easily access with his own account. Now I can say, “make the slow cooker ribs and oven roasted snap peas on our Pinterest board” and he’s all set.

Wal-Mart Pick Up

I really love the ease of Wal-Mart pick up. Not only does it curb my impulse shopping but it also helps me to remember stuff during the week. If we run out of something, I just add it to the Wal-Mart cart as it happens. Then, every Friday evening, we finalize our meal plan for the week ahead and submit for an early pick-up the next morning. If I don’t do a pick-up order, I’m usually in trouble. My youngest son and I will go to the store and together we are basically like the Edies of Grey Gardens – we can talk each other into anything. “But mother, you NEED this. I need this. WE need it.”

And so it goes.

It has taken me years to work out this system that finally works for our family – I have tried countless box subscriptions, premade meal deliveries, etc. – but this is the only thing that works for us and our schedule. It’s the perfect trifecta that still allows me to be lazy at home but not have to eat pizza for every third meal.

Laurel Hess is a mother to 2 young boys, a rescue pup, an off-balance cat and likely a few foster pups. She spends her days as President of a local marketing agency, helping craft integrated digital strategies and leading a team of creative collaborators. Once at home, however, Laurel is just trying to find peace with being the World's Okayest Mom. A Dallas transplant in a Louisiana world, Laurel graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in Broadcast Production. She met her husband while she was evacuated in Lafayette during Hurricane Katrina. They lived 5 wild, kid-free years in New Orleans while Laurel served as the Sales and Marketing Manager for the Superdome, Arena and Champions Square, before finally returning to Lafayette and into the wildest phase of life yet ... Parenthood.