Does the phrase ‘meal planning’ drive shivers down your spine?

Do you have the best of intentions to save money by eating at home, but never follow through?

I recommit to doing a better job of this myself, and since this is such a huge part of my life,
I want to share some creative ways that you can plan ahead, save money and eat healthier without it feeling like work.
Sound impossible?
Let’s just give it a try!
For those of you newer to my blog, and/or meal planning, I have several previous posts on this topic.
A great place to start would be with this post below.
It incorporates some basic suggestions for meal planning, and helps think outside the “cooking box.”
C.O.S.T cooking: Cook once, serve twice

Now on to some creative cooking alternatives.

Imagine yourself back in the early 1900’s.
You’re rocking on the covered porch, busying your hands with a beautiful quilt patch, while catching up with all your neighborhood girlfriends.
I always longed to be in the days of the Quilting Bee where friends came together regularly to share community.
You shared life. You had a purpose. You had fun. ….you got it done!

Introducing the Kitchen Sisters’ Club
On and off for the last ten years, I have organized evening gatherings where friends come together to make meals.
Who doesn’t want to be part of a cool club…so we named it.

Yes, I know, I’ve been told many times that I should have been the one to start the “Let’s Dish/Super Supper” type of places…it’s kind of a bummer.

Over the year, I have done our get together multiple ways, with many different ladies, and groups ranging from 6-20, but it’s always such a great time together.

In the next post, I’ll share in detail how you can organize a night like this with your girlfriends.
Does the idea of having a ladies night out, sharing some appetizers and going home with 4-8 meals to stick in your freezer sound like a dream come true?
Well, start thinking of some friends to invite and do it together.
Yes, the organizer does get the brunt of the work to begin with, but it’s so worth it.

(edited to add: I love how you are sharing your experiences. Please comment if you’ve done something similar and I will compile the ideas in the next post..yipee).

Typically, it’s just the ladies, but some of the kiddos came along to help.
Remember, start them cooking early – it makes all the difference. 🙂
I don’t know about you, but I HATE mixing meatloaf, so what better task for the girls than to GO FOR IT!
They loved it, and mixed up 5 lbs of Italian Mozzarella Meatloaf for me.
Since I did this cooking jubilee at church, with a large freezer at our disposal, I had the girlies do the meatballs first. We froze the meatballs on the baking sheet and then transferred them to a zip lock bag right before we left.

I gave a choice of 7-8 main dishes, with most of the ladies leaving with 6 meals ready for their freezer.
We had Italian Mozzarella Meatloaf, Asian Pork Tenderloin, Mexican Lasagna, Chicken Pot Pie, Lemon Margarita Chicken, Grandmother’s Sunday Roast, and Enchilada Chicken.
It’s such a blessing to come home and have these waiting for you after a crazy day.
Cooking in bulk, makes me hungry!
Crazy, I know…only when I’m really, really tired…and I was. 🙂
“If I have to make one more meat ball….”
Yes, it’s obviously been a long day, and Jen looks whooped!

Waiting for the women to finish cooking…isn’t that their job? HA!
Come back next time….from a kitchen near you….the “How To’s” of the Kitchen Sister Club or whatever in the world you want to call it.

Creative Meal Planning – Part Two