February 23, 2020
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How to Eat Healthy Meals Every Night Without Meal Planning- Large Family


Hi, everyone. It’s Lisa from the blog Farmhouse On Boone and today I want to share with you my five tips for healthy meals every night without meal planning. So in today’s world of Pinterest and social media, I think we have a very warped view of what is expected of us as far as food and meals and everything like that goes. I want to preface this video by saying that I am not against meal planning. I think it is a great strategy for a lot of very organized, type A people who have schedules and lists and that’s how they thrive. And that is wonderful. But this is for those people who feel overwhelmed by the concept of meal planning and schedules and homemaking binders and lists. So I’m one of those people. I am not a planner and I tried to fit myself in the box of “meal planning mom” for a few years after I was married, and I found that it just stressed me out, overwhelmed me and that it was an extra step, once I got into my groove of cooking for my family without meal planning, I found that for me it just added to the stress rather than taking it away. I did not feel more prepared. I felt more stressed. And so for those of you who are like me and who also have that same kind of personality, who maybe planning isn’t what works best for you. But, back in the day when my grandma was a young mom, she wasn’t planning a coconut curry cream cheese pasta bake. She was just making meat and potatoes and vegetables and maybe threw in some cornbread or some herbs if they were in season. And so I thought of the five tips that have helped me these past few years to feel very on top of things and like we have a plan every night for food without having a plan at all. Most days I have no clue whatsoever what I’m going to make for lunch or dinner. And my husband actually comes home every day at noon for lunch and so we have a full on meal at noon and at night. And I used to lay in bed at night thinking about what I was gonna make and it stressed me out so much. Well now I just adhere to these five principles. I don’t meal plan. And we do eat a home cooked meal at all those without me ever having to draw up a plan or get out a special chalkboard or notebook. And I know I’ve met some resistance on this post because I’ve had this post on my blog for a long time. And people who are planners think that this is absolutely crazy and reckless. And let me tell you, there are just different types of people in the world. It’s totally okay. And so if you are one of those people and you think I’m crazy and reckless and that there’s no possible way you could ever have a schedule of good, healthy meals without planning, just go ahead and turn off the video and stick with your usual plan because that is wonderful and I’m so glad it’s working. Tip number one is always have a 9×13 glass dish in your fridge with meat thawing. Obviously unless you’re a vegetarian, the basis for a good, healthy meal is usually some kind of protein. That is meat in my family. The biggest obstacle you will run into whenever you are trying to make a meal from scratch and if you haven’t planned is not having meat thawed out. So you open the fridge, all you have is a frozen chicken, frozen ground beef. Always have a pan of meat thawing in the refrigerator. So I will have a whole chicken, two pounds of ground beef, and a roast all sitting in the pan in the fridge and I know that within that week or five days, all of that will get cooked and put to good use in a meal. And my meat is covered for the week. So I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it but I do know that it’s thawed out and ready to go. Is throwing in a whole chicken and five sweet potatoes any harder than throwing in a frozen pizza? It’s really not. You’ll find that if you have the meat already thawed out and you have those staples in the fridge, but just being able to throw in a thawed out chicken and some sweet potatoes, maybe even put a little broccoli on the stove, and that meal became no harder than throwing in a frozen pizza. Tip number two is doing a little prep work whenever you have extra time. So if I go to the store and it is the middle of summer and I’m at the farmers market or I’m at the local produce stand, and they have bell peppers for – a big bag – for $3 or something, I will always grab those peppers. And then if I have extra time I will slice them all up and put them in a bag, put them in the freezer. And then any time that I’m just trying to whip up something really really quick, like let’s say I have um, some steak thawing in the fridge, I can slice it up, throw it in with the peppers, throw it in with some sliced onions, and we have a Mexican meal. So by doing things whenever you have an extra minute, you will set yourself up for being able to throw together a meal in no time, whether you plan to have it or not. I like to ferment foods and so if I have extra time to prep a bunch of cabbage into sauerkraut, I will do four gallons at a time and then every single time for the next year that I want sauerkraut we have it there in the refrigerator ready to go. So that way you always have kind of things that are ready very quickly. Sauerkraut is an instant side dish that I have to think nothing about. I just have to get it out of the refrigerator. Another example of doing extra whenever you have the time would be if the oven is on and you’re making, say, meatloaf for example, throw in two bags of sweet potatoes. Now this of course is coming from a person with four – almost five – kids and so I will throw in fifteen sweet potatoes. When they come out of the oven I will just set them out to the side until they’re cool maybe a few hours later and I will put them all in a glass bowl with some butter and salt, put them in the refrigerator and then for days we have a side of sweet potatoes all ready to go. And so I don’t really have to think about that at all but I know that if I get home in a pinch we have two sides ready, we have sauerkraut, sweet potatoes, and then we almost always have avocados in the fridge. So then that’s three sides. Also if you have an extra minute, throw a dozen eggs into some boiling water and hard boil them. And then you’ll have those in the fridge. So if you come home from a busy day and you have literally no time to make anything, you can always peel those eggs, toss it with some mayonnaise or something like that and make an egg salad or you could have what we call in our house a “continental dinner” which we just came up with that because it’s like, hotels have continental breakfast, but that basically means that we get out hard boiled eggs, cheese, chips, sauerkraut and call it a meal. There’s always options if you have done a little bit of prep work and have the meat thawed. So the third tip is to keep quick cooking staples on hand. So my example for this would be keeping couple cans of salmon in your pantry. So if we come home and let’s say, heaven forbid, I forgot to thaw out the meat in the pan and we have no time and I didn’t have any hard boiled eggs – all those things fell through – then I still have cans of salmon. I can make up some crispy salmon burgers which are really delicious, I’ll link the recipe below, I have it on my blog. And we’ll have a side of sauerkraut, avocado and maybe there’ll be sweet potatoes in the fridge, maybe not. But either way, in about 15-20 minutes I can have a full meal on the table with little to no forethought. Also another example of this is eggs. So if I forgot to thaw the meat, I have no eggs hard boiled, I don’t have the salmon in the pantry, but if I have a dozen eggs then we have the basis for a meal right there. So we can have scrambled eggs with side of sauerkraut and avocado and call that a meal. So I talked about this a little already but the fourth tip is to keep quick sides on hand. And sauerkraut was one of my examples and avocado is another. If avocados are on sale for 39 cents which occasionally happens I will buy 30 of them and put them in the refrigerator. They have to be the ones that aren’t that ripe already. They need to be pretty green. I’ll put 30 avocados in the refrigerator. I’ll get out two at a time and put them on the counter so that we always have a few that are ripe. And then that is the fastest side. It requires no cooking, it just requires chopping it up, adding a little bit of salt and it’s a side dish for literally everything. Other super simple sides that are always ready really really quickly when you need them is mashed cauliflower. So as long as you always have a couple of cauliflower in your fridge. Steamed carrots – so every time I go to the store I make sure to grab several bags of carrots. They’re always in the fridge. So if I come home and we have no time, I need a very quick side, I can chop them up, put them in some boiling water and add some butter and salt and then we’re good to go. Crispy potatoes which if you always keep potatoes on hand you can just chop them up real small and heat up the coconut oil and get them fried up in probably 15-20 minutes. So that tip is just to keep the fridge stocked with the simple sides. Never let your fridge run out of carrots, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, and you always have a side on hand. Another example would be frozen veggies so if you have a freezer full of frozen broccoli you are never more than 10 minutes away from a quick side. Fifth tip is to stock your staples. So always keep the things I mentioned before on hand so let them be on your regular grocery shopping list. Frozen fruit is always on my list. So no matter what, when I go to the store I’m always buying frozen fruit – great for smoothies. And then I also make sure I always have popcorn – we just buy it in bulk in the bags – nuts, dates, raisins, quinoa, that kind of thing. Those are always up in the pantry. With those five tips, keeping your meat thawed in the fridge, prepping extra when you have the time, keeping the quick cooking staples on hand, keeping the fridge stocked with easy sides, and stocking your staples, you are never more than 30 minutes away from a meal whether you prepped or not. Get creative with everything. Add the herbs. Add a lot of salt and pepper. Stock up on whatever is in season so if rosemary is in season buy a lot of rosemary and add rosemary to everything. If butternut squash is in season, make sure to have 20 of those on hand. Cook one up every time your oven’s on and then you always have that for a side. Buy a bunch of lemon and limes if you see them on sale and squirt them on everything. You don’t need a recipe to do that. Get creative, experiment with it. Cook meat and vegetables and add flavoring and call it a day. To me, I don’t need anything more than that. I don’t have a lot of extra time to spend in the kitchen. I don’t feel that I have to to have good, healthy meals on hand. I don’t mess with recipes. They’re fun sometimes, and I like doing them on a weekend or something like that but for the most part you’ll find me just cooking up meat, veggies, potatoes, calling it a day. I know it’s healthy. I don’t have to worry about it. As long as I have those things on hand we are never more than 30 minutes away from a good, healthy meal at all times. So some examples, because people have asked me, “So what do you actually make for dinner?” I’ll just share a list of some of the things that I make on a regular basis. Roasted chicken with steamed carrots, sliced avocados, and sauerkraut. Grass-fed beef steaks sliced thinly and sauteed in butter, served with sauteed onions, peppers, sauerkraut and avocado. Salmon burgers with smashed cauliflower, steamed carrots, and avocado. Leftover chicken in homemade bone broth with carrots and celery – so a soup that way. Meatloaf with mashed butternut squash, sauerkraut and sauteed mushrooms. For breakfast, six days out of seven it’s eggs and smoothies. I might throw in some vegetables. If it’s summer I’m probably throwing in kale and spinach from the farmers market. If it’s winter maybe onions maybe nothing at all. And then just a milk kefir smoothie with frozen strawberries and frozen banana. Might get fancy and make the kids sourdough pancakes on a special occasion. Might throw in some toasted coconut, blueberries. But you know adding in these fresh ingredients doesn’t take a recipe and you can just experiment with it. You don’t have to have a recipe to make garlic herb butter chicken, you know? You can just pick some butter, throw in some herbs and some lemon juice if you had picked that up. I will link all of these tutorials that I just mentioned in the description box below so, how to make toasted coconut, how to make sauerkraut, how to make milk kefir, and how to work with a homemade sourdough starter. All of these things just become second nature once you get them incorporated into your daily routine and they’re always ready for a simple meal idea. The key is just to buy a lot of fresh ingredients and make variety of the same concept which is always meat, vegetables, potatoes, or not even potatoes just more vegetables too. There’s so many options there and there doesn’t need to be a plan to bring that together. So I encourage you to please stop by my blog and read the post “5 tips for healthy meals every night without meal planning” because I give a lot more tips and it’s a more thought out article so I have a lot more tips and tricks and strategies that we use here in our kitchen. I will link that post in the description below so you can go and check it out. Let me know in the comments below what you do. What is your strategy? Are you a planner? I’m guessing if you made it this far in the video, you’re probably a little bit more like me and you kind of wing it at all times but find that winging it actually works for you and that that is okay. I love hearing more tips for how you’re able to stay on top of healthy meals without having to plan it out completely. And also if you are new to my channel please consider subscribing. I do lots of videos on food from scratch, natural living and our handmade home here in the farmhouse. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Randall Smitham

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100 COMMENTS

  1. Becca’s Homeschool Journal Posted on November 28, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Love this! Makes me feel so much better about my non-planning self. LOL! I’m with you on the planning adding to the stress. Love your channel!

    Reply
  2. divine34j Posted on July 28, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Most of the times I don't plan our meals. But I do have a list on my phone with meals that we all enjoy. So when I run out of inspiration I just pull out that list and look for a meal that we didn't have for awhile. If I also have the ingredients to make it is even better. Usually when I go grocery shopping I buy things that help me cook most of the foods on the list.
    I'm not a super organized person but I hate having to cook when I have no inspiration, so having a list of favourites helps a lot.
    Ps: 4 kids here 😉

    Reply
  3. Michele Hayes Posted on August 1, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Love your videos! I've never been a meal planner and always cook from scratch. Like you I always keep the basics in my cupboards. I do occasionally do some meal prep on the weekends such as chop veggies and what not for the busy week ahead but never plan menus.

    Reply
  4. clilbear11 Posted on August 2, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I have really enjoyed your advice on making meals with no meal planning ahead of time; it’s been working really well in my household!💕

    Reply
  5. Mindy Brown Posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you so much for the simple and REAL ideas and tips! I can't tell you how often over the years I've seen other seemingly organized people using planners and calendars and think "I should be doing that, life would be so easier!" But inevitably, I get so overwhelmed and frustrated and then disappointed with myself, and feel so guilty for what I see as being a failure! I can't thank you enough for the down-to-earth realistic encouragement! You have a new subscriber! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Angelika Berber Posted on August 6, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Any tips on picky eaters? My second (of three kiddos) is super picky, 3 years old, it absolutely exhausts me to try to get healthy stuff into her. The other two are much better but not big on veggies either…how do you “teach” your kids to like these foods? I mean for example my three year old will not eat chicken or potatoes or sweet potatoes or avocado..we eat all these things regularly whilst she eats toast and cheese and tomatoes and pasta every day. Otherwise she will just not eat. I’d love to follow a simply meal routine like yours, but I already see the tears round the dinner table. At the moment my husband and I eat healthy but the kids will not, except the 1 year old who will eat anything praise God! 😄

    Reply
  7. megroux Posted on August 7, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Avacados freeze beautifully. Just throw the whole avocado in the freezer. Thaw when you need it.

    Reply
  8. Hannah Bentson Posted on August 8, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you for all the ideas! I’m transitioning into cooking without a “meal plan” and just cooking things in rotation. I buy a lot of greens and meat. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Krista / The Pursuit of Homemaking Posted on August 11, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    My biggest question for you is: do your kids eat most of what you serve? Specifically, steamed veggies/fermented foods/soups? I have a one and two-year-old and my struggle right now is getting them to eat those things. Any advice? Thank you!

    Reply
  10. Silvia Trinidad Posted on August 11, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Honestly this makes me feel soooo much better! I have tried meal planning before and I never follow thru and its so stressful trying to figure out recipes for the entire week

    Reply
  11. Stephania Messina Posted on August 14, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I just started watching your videos and WOW! What a blessing! I´m a mom to 4 boys, due with my 5th in October. We homeschool and have busy lives with church and family, and though my own mother and grandmother whom are both Italian NEVER meal planned, I feel this intense pressure to do it! But you said it – it doesn't help me! Just more stress! So I've gone back to my mediterranean cooking roots (I´ḿ Italian and Greek) and find that I´m actually enjoying cooking again. Your 5 tips were exactly the encouragement and confirmation I needed to know that it's not mom-shaming of me to do things this way, even when the moms at my homeschool group look at me wide-eyed when I tell them I have no clue what's for dinner. The best thing is I always thought I was type-A because I too hate clutter and love to be organized – but I HATE a plan! I think it kills my joy and robs be of the freedom of the moment. You reminded me that none of us are all or nothing, and that my way is okay. It's who the good Lord made me to be and I'm gonna embrace it. Thanks for helping me do that today. May God bless you and your family with His great grace and peace as you follow Him! ~ Stephania

    Reply
  12. Maggie Elliot Posted on August 17, 2018 at 2:19 am

    I love meal planning, but with 2 picky eaters, a 10 month old just starting table foods, & an older parent living with us….I LOVE this video!!! This will be so much easier for us!

    Reply
  13. Mayela Caro Posted on August 20, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    This is one of the most helpful videos on youtube. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  14. Elizabeth Marie Quellet Posted on August 23, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Just starting to watch your videos and love them! I'd love to see a fridge and pantry tour…maybe you already have a one!

    Reply
  15. Amy M Posted on August 24, 2018 at 2:29 am

    This is exactly how I make meals as well. Planning just never worked for me. And honestly, some of the yummiest, memorable dishes our family has enjoyed are the creative ones we come up with on the fly using ingredients we just keep stocked.

    Reply
  16. C Bentler Posted on September 2, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Wow!! I just discovered your channel, and I have been reassured that my cooking method isn't crazy. It's pretty much the same as yours, which is so cool!! I'm definitely subscribing!

    Reply
  17. A Substantial Life Posted on September 6, 2018 at 3:19 am

    This is a GREAT video! Thanks!!!

    Reply
  18. SonshineLady Posted on September 9, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    THANK YOU! I don't like cooking and meal planning even less but I needed something to motivate me and your video was it! Love the idea of keeping the basics on hand. Will head over to your blog for more details. (Salmon patties are one of my favs but think I've cooked them once in my life – have to change that!)

    Reply
  19. R Ellis Posted on September 12, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Meal planning is stressful for me, but works out best. If I don’t I end up spending more than I have in my food budget, or I don’t use everything I buy before it goes bad. I do a lot better just buying exactly what I need and know we will eat 🙂 also, I’m not the best at cooking without a recipe. It stresses me out 😂

    Reply
  20. Rachel Brown Loves Posted on September 13, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    I think sides are more important than the main dish. If you have side dishes than you can just eat the sides and don't always have to have a main dish.

    Reply
  21. Amy Rogers Posted on September 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    I'm a planner / type – a person with everything except cooking. I've tried to meal plan but I felt restricted, overwhelmed and I ended up spending WAY more at the store than I normally would. Great tips! I'll def keep this in mind. I love that you cook so many whole chickens. It's so easy and since it's just hubs and I, we can make chicken salad or soup or another dish with the leftover chicken. One tip I have is when you've got the time and are already making chicken, make extra and shred it up, put in containers and pop in the freezer. Shredded, frozen chicken is so quick to thaw (I literally toss it in frozen) and make a meal out of.

    Reply
  22. Amy Harriman Posted on September 21, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Best advice ever!!!!love it!!!

    Reply
  23. Mary OConnell Posted on September 22, 2018 at 2:41 am

    How about someone who lives alone? Just buy less? Do you ever serve salads? Do your kids like the veggies?? Love your advice and your videos!

    Reply
  24. Dewy Noodle Posted on September 24, 2018 at 1:16 am

    This is actually really good. I do this more informally, but I like the idea of being a bit more organised (but not too much😄). Thx!

    Reply
  25. HappilyOrganizedChaos Posted on September 27, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Actually I’ve always thought of myself as a planner but lately have found that simple living is so much less stressful and that while planning helps me decide what to have , sometimes I have found I am more stressed when I plan 😂🤦‍♀️ The trick for me is to figure out meals that my family enjoys and are simple and easy to make. Great video I really enjoyed it 💕

    Reply
  26. Diane Choate Posted on October 2, 2018 at 1:31 am

    Basics. I buy what is on sale and have my staples, add veggies. You are right. It's not rocket science and less stress is always good.

    Reply
  27. Andrea Bowersox Posted on October 5, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Loved this video. I'm very much like you when it comes to meal prep, although not as disciplined with thawing meat. I try to stick to 2 nights per week that we know for sure what we're having for dinner. Typically, Taco Tuesday and Fish Friday. All the other meals are from whatever we have on hand because there was a sale and I stocked up, and from left-overs. We usually just alternate between meat, veggies, and potatoes; stir-fry; chili/soups and salad, and sandwiches/wraps. We keep it very simple. I also try to keep a veggie tray with sliced veggies in the fridge at all times because my kids will eat a lot more veggies if they can pick from a tray than they would eat if I cut them up and put it on a plate for them. It's weird, but that's how they operate. 😂

    Reply
  28. Bubbies & Peaches Lifestyle Posted on October 7, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Great video!! We just started eating very simply, just meat and veggies! Butcher box has been a game changer for us! It’s grass fed meat and better than any I’ve ever bought at the grocery!!! Now we always have healthy meat in our freezer! http://fbuy.me/kyxnr

    Reply
  29. Jenny Lynne Posted on October 8, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Thank you! I am not a planner whatsoever no matter how hard I have tried. Never thought of having a weeks worth of meat thawing out in the fridge.

    Reply
  30. Priscilla Hinds Posted on October 28, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Listening to you and your ideas is removing so much stress from so many lives. God bless you.

    Reply
  31. Poppy * Posted on October 30, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Thank goodness for all of your tips!!! It is such a relief as, as a single mom, I'm always in a clue of what to eat for dinner and supper. My teen is not much of a veggie eater (unless mixed with something) and I'm always stressed out by meals. 🍴👍

    Reply
  32. S N Posted on October 31, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you so much for this video! I feel human knowing there are other people out there like myself! I stress myself out so much looking at others perfect scheduled and planned lives that I don't get to enjoy my own! Truly, thank you so much for this video!

    Reply
  33. Raquel Hwang Posted on November 1, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    i am just like you.. not a planner at all.. this was a great video!

    Reply
  34. Angelahits Posted on November 5, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Yess I love this thankyou so much

    Reply
  35. Kim williams Posted on November 8, 2018 at 5:21 am

    This is so awesome! Thank you for sharing. What’s funny is that I am totally someone who enjoys meal planning, however, I’m also a person who can get overwhelmed too. This just sounds like freedom! Lol I love organization but when it causes more stress to the recipe it’s not worth it! I think I’ll do this and maybe some sort of fusion for those special recipes I want to try every once in a while!

    Thank you for sharing !

    Reply
  36. The American Farmstead Posted on November 12, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    This was Sooooooo great for me to watch!! I try to make everything homemade in our kitchen and it can get so stressful when you're not prepared! This was such a needed reminder that Meal Planning isn't necessary for good, healthy eating! As much as I love the idea of meal planning I've found it always to be so much more of a stress and that's exactly what I want to avoid 🙂 Totally loving your videos and binge watching them all, thank you for such awesome content! 😀 <3

    Reply
  37. Abby Posted on November 13, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    When in doubt, avocado and sauerkraut 😂

    Reply
  38. M Munroe Posted on November 16, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Very useful, many thanks.

    Reply
  39. Gabriella Blackner Posted on November 17, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    We have a giant 17" cast iron "pan of greatness" and a le creuset oval pot that makes this philosophy so easy because it also minimizes the cleanup. Throw the veggies in the pan, roast for 15 minutes, add the meat and you're all done in 30min max. The pot is great for throwing a whole chicken or Turkey legs in with veggies and let it cook away for an hour, hardly any prep or fuss. Whole chickens are great because they will last 2 people a few days of various meals.

    Reply
  40. Heidi Wilson Posted on November 17, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Great video!! We just had baby #8 and I am always looking for good tips. Love the meat in fridge idea, gonna give it a try. One thing I love to do is presoak large amounts of beans, like then I'll bag from Walmart, and then freeze. Then I can easily throw them in the electric pressure cooker for a side.

    Reply
  41. Ermelin Leal Posted on November 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    This is exactly how I cook our meals. No meal planning, just making sure I have a meat, eggs & veggies in the fridge. It works great for me 😊

    Reply
  42. AccordingToLorna Posted on December 5, 2018 at 11:14 am

    A Flavorwave lets you cook frozen meat as easy as thawed.

    Frozen potatoes, like hash browns, mean just microwaving, and I really like microwaved frozen veggies.

    Keep in mind that Brassica vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts, block iodine absorption (less so when cooked), so serving sauerkraut with every single meal, as you said on your blog, can lead to a hypothyroid. I know, since my attempt at similarly "healthy" eating has led to my lifetime condition of constant health problems.

    Reply
  43. Jessie Madanat Posted on December 5, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Love this……This is how I think too

    Reply
  44. Samantha Barron Posted on December 6, 2018 at 1:15 am

    This actually does sound like meal planning to me… you are still prepping pieces of your meal even if you aren't assembling them. I think the point is to keep meals simple and not attempting a Pinterest dish every time, something I need to work on…

    Reply
  45. Grace Through Faith [Ephesians 2:8-9] Posted on December 6, 2018 at 1:42 am

    I'm a very organized, plan ahead type of person, but you're right, it's very stressful. I think I'm going to try things your way for a while. Pre-planning is so overrated!! I feel more relaxed already just thinking about not having to think about what's for dinner every night…thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  46. Simplifying Family Life Posted on December 6, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Thank you Lisa! I’ve watched this a few times now and it really helps me every time! I somewhere in the middle with planning. Some things I plan and list, other things I don’t. Meal planning stresses me out no end. I’ve tried so many ways, but it just doesn’t work for me.

    Reply
  47. Julie Wilson Posted on December 6, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Raised 6 babies … NEVER planned a meal! Love you and your channel!!

    Reply
  48. Andrea Muszynski Posted on December 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

    You just changed my life😂

    Reply
  49. Angelene Rash Posted on December 12, 2018 at 2:44 am

    My hybrid to this is: I make a 2 week menu but choose what sounds good for that day instead of going by "Monday is this…"
    The menu is my way of knowing I have all the ingredients on hand to make any of those meals at any time. Several of our meals are the meat and veggie/sides.

    Reply
  50. S&J Reinke Posted on December 14, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Oh this is so great! This explains me so much and I feel so free hahah! Thanks

    Reply
  51. Clle_Srra Posted on December 15, 2018 at 3:13 am

    God I love this video. Makes me feel better about failing at meal planning this year, lol. Great tips!!

    Reply
  52. Winter Posted on December 17, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Love love love this. Very intuitive and the way I like to cook. Great tips.

    Reply
  53. Joy To The World Posted on December 21, 2018 at 10:06 am

    This is great I cook like this. I feel like meal prep peeps use recipes and cooking like you do works because you know all the basics and can work on the hop.

    Reply
  54. Deborah Nicole Posted on December 29, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    What a happy accident, stumbling on your channel. Just having watched 2 hours of meal planning videos I was all pumped up to start planning! Thank you for saving me! My husband has been asking me for 14 years ( he's very un-naggingly persistent) to make a meal plan. My brain does not operate like that…thank you for the Gramma reference, I got my cooking nature from her. I just put simple ingredients together and it comes out great. Feeling so guilt free right now!!! ♥Thumbs up! Subscribed!

    Reply
  55. Beth Diaz Posted on December 29, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Very helpful!

    Does your family not eat rice? Just curious since you mainly mention potatoes as your carb.

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  56. Twin Mommy Posted on January 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Great tips…and meal planning is just as much about decision fatigue after a long day as it is about executing a healthy meal. Deciding what to make and then making it when you are a working mom can be overwhelming. If I have my menu and I have booked the necessary prep time on my calendar, my life goes way more smoothly.

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  57. Kandice Phillips Posted on January 5, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Girl same! I thought something was wrong with me but I feel so worried and overwhelmed with the meal planning.1

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  58. Hélène Nondjock Posted on January 6, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    I Love you! 😅
    I’m not even past two sentences of your first Tip, but you already gave me such a different point of view!!!
    I was trying so hard to find a way to do it all, I work and have 2 young children, but I didn’t want to lose my cooking creativity… Yet I tried to do it kind of and it just didn’t work! You just boosted my Start of the new year!
    I am so grateful to you!! 😘

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  59. Nancee Birdlover Posted on January 12, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Wreckless to not meal plan?? Oh please. I love what you are saying in this video. Old school.

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  60. Stella Unger Posted on January 13, 2019 at 1:20 am

    So nice to see a young homemaker sharing information on healthy eating. I’m an old lady now but as a young mother of 8 beautiful children I can share, I also never planned meals. I made 99% of everything from scratch. Keeping staples on hand is necessary. Almost part of our daily eats were muffins, ,they’re easy to make, quick to bake and can either be part of the main meal, sweet for a dessert or a healthy snack. The combinations for muffins are endless and they’re inexpensive to make. Another combination meal I frequently made were pies, main dish and dessert.They’re very filling, easy to make and can really stretch a few ingredients. Baked in 9×13 “ pans both went in the oven at the same time and no one ever left the table hungry. They do require more time, however ,then your subject you shared in this video. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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  61. Vivianne Merr Posted on January 14, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Oh great.
    Now I’m hungry.
    😋

    Reply
  62. Cassjahh Posted on January 20, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I’ve been here for only a week or so and I’m still binge watching! This is an amazing concept to bring it back to the roots of homesteading and teaching people pretty much everything you would need with your blog! Now, anytime I have a question of this type and grandma is busy, I can look it up here! God bless you and yours, and thank you for sharing!!! 🌻👍🏻

    Reply
  63. Fionn Vance Posted on January 21, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I know this is old video but just found you and binge watching! This is so refreshing. As long as I have enough meat/protein, sides etc then I can make something. For me this is sooo much less complicated than meal planning.

    Do you have any videos on how you keep track of all that needs doing as you are not a natural planner? Im also not a natural planner and would love to hear from someone who has a similar approach to things.

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  64. gettin' there Janice Posted on January 22, 2019 at 5:43 am

    thank you. I have felt like this has needed to be out there on youtube for a while now. I keep hearing the same advice meal plan meal plan meal plan its the number one tip and some people insist it is the only way. there is an insistance that it is so so much cheaper and both in my experience and my sisters meal planning has actually been more expensive. It feels like the difference between having a capsule wordrobe and laying out your clothes for the next day. I enjoy planning I find it fun fallowing a plan however doesn't workout so well. My freezer cooking is having the meat already cooked and portioned in the freezer. I recently just came up with a weekly menu and I am hoping it works. as a stay it home mom there wasn't much point in having a menu. but my kids have developed habits of telling me what they want when they want it and expecting me to fix multiple things all the time or picking what i am out of. also we had a bit of a chocolate problem I had let it happen at each trip to the store but we were going to the store or different stores very often and it was a problem. I have been doing more grocery delivery and I get a lot less demands for chocolate but I still want to break the kids of thinking I am a vinding machine and they have endless quarters. my children are two and three. I am going to do a picture menu. personally for me I don't need the menu or really want to be tied to it however I need to break my kids of the habit of treating me like a vending machine. I want to save what little patience I do have for something meaningful. I think a handful of go to meals a well stocked pantry and a little prep cooking totally is way more key than a full on menu plan to save money and eat healthy.

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  65. T J Posted on January 22, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    I love your practical ideas! I love to bake and cook, but I still agree with you about Pinterest. In fact, I've found that when I try something new, with different ingredients that I typically don't use, it ends up looking way better on the screen than how it tastes.

    Typically, I do similar to what you do. I make sure meat is thawing out (I'm vegan but my family is not), I stock our kitchen with fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, and I have simple things on hand like pasta, eggs, and home made bread. I make home made bread all the time, and put it in the freezer, so I can take out just a small amount for sandwiches and it never goes bad that way. I do the same with baked goods. We'll also make a large batch of home made hamburgers and stick them back in the freezer for easy meals. I also stock up on the healthy breaded chicken strips when they are on sale for more easy meals for my kids.

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  66. Jen D Posted on January 24, 2019 at 12:38 am

    I do it like you. Here's one tip: I like to poach a package of chicken breasts, divide into bags/containers, and freeze. I will later use for soups, casseroles, etc.

    Reply
  67. Ruby Lewis Posted on January 27, 2019 at 12:37 am

    Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing🤗

    Reply
  68. Kathy Flory Posted on February 4, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Bravo, my Grandma and mother had always cooked like this so l did too especially when l had my family and they were young. Now they are all grown up. I always wondered what everyone was talking about when they said meal planning it seems so hard and time consuming to do it that way.

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  69. L L Posted on February 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    These are such great ideas, love all of the shortcut tips. I personally do meal plan and that works for our family, but these tips are awesome for when your short on time. 😊

    Reply
  70. dd13 abc Posted on February 8, 2019 at 4:48 am

    we do the same, always have some meats in fridge, then in front of fridge on a magnet whiteboard we put about 5.main meals and a few sides available as options for the week for dinner,,,takes the guesswork out of Whats for Dinner,,,Also we have a 19year old daughter who is now helping make dinner so the options give her some ideas to make dinner with what is in the fridge, or she can also create dinner with her own ideas,,,we tried the daily meal plan, but everyone felt frustrated when the days meal wasnt made and food was going to waste,,,now with our current system, we dont have hardly any food waste,,,,game changer,,,Great video

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  71. ms H Posted on February 12, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    i use a lot of these ideas… need to try to make saurcraut now, too!! i do the eggs, salmon/tuna/sardines for salads and different things. we also have avocado, as well.

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  72. Angie Posted on February 16, 2019 at 2:25 am

    I'm not a planner either and it's worked for me here on our farm!! 🙂 And I also do the peppers and onions like you! Helps with throwing something together and not preparing vegetables!

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  73. Lynne Gill Posted on February 18, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Can I just say that people who meal plan are not necessarily type A, hugely organised people. In fact, they may be the reverse. It depends of course what you mean by meal planning. People on short money need to have a rough idea of what they are going to buy to cook for the week, or they just don’t make their money stretch. I certainly don’t think you are totally reckless, I can do it my way without calling you reckless, and without being super organised and alpha. Please, I like your content but you really sounded passive aggressive in this one.

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  74. Tandem Bicycle Posted on February 20, 2019 at 6:16 am

    I make a large pot of brown rice on Sunday then put it in the fridge. Take some out and heat it up for my meals. Like you, Everyday I have thawed meat of some sort in the fridge. Make a quick simple green salad each night. We like to use our slow cooker and make a large pot of soup overnight.

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  75. Ann Coleman Posted on March 2, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    I love this because you are so right. Getting a meal ready at night is freaking me out. Please do more of these helpful ideas.

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  76. Cathy Joiner Posted on March 30, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you, I get very stressed over dinner! This is great !

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  77. Ashley Jessica Johnson Posted on April 3, 2019 at 2:35 am

    This was so helpful thank you!

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  78. Katie Mansfield Posted on April 8, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I tried to be a planner. I never wanted to eat what was on the plan. I have a long list of menu ideas. If I'm out of ideas, I pick something from the list if we have the ingredients. Great tips. I love that you eat healthy.

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  79. ConnecTEAvity ConnecTEAvity Posted on April 26, 2019 at 6:16 am

    I can’t meal plan too!!!! Thanks for video so much!!!!
    I am using just the same tips with meat and extra chopped veggies!

    Reply
  80. Ta Ch Posted on May 17, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you, love the tips! So smart!

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  81. Joey Chan Posted on May 22, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    I am a semi-planner. I do not meal plan for the week but I will have some ideas what I will cook for the week before shopping. Like you, I like to go to the grocery store/farmers market and see what is seasonal and do some of my meal plan there. I will make sure I stock the meat and veg for 7 days and probably have some idea for the first few days what I am going to cook. The key is to be flexible about what I am going to cook.

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  82. LuCasley 20 Posted on June 5, 2019 at 4:44 am

    I love your simple and practical ideas!

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  83. Heather Azevedo Posted on June 23, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Love this! I will meal plan then 2 or 3 weeks later it is out the window and I feel horrible for not doing it. Meal planning it out from now on.

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  84. Kirsten Sacco Posted on July 16, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    How do you make the smashed cauliflower? Is it made to look like mashed potatoes?

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  85. Valerie Edwards Posted on July 31, 2019 at 3:59 am

    How I can tell this is a year old: Avocados are on sale sometimes for 39 cents 🥑

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  86. Kara A Posted on August 3, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Recipes are typically unhealthy and they suck up your money, which is why people use cheap processed products to make them. They also make people fat. Going to the grocery store to find the ingredients for a recipe can be so annoying and time consuming and leave you with ingredients you'll never use again. Having a child who needs to eat as basic as possible because he can't eat fake ingredients, left me with cooking how this mom cooks for her family. I felt bad at first but then I realized it's actually the most healthy and cost/time effective method of cooking.

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  87. Michelle Cox Posted on September 1, 2019 at 2:22 am

    I've found that cooking like this keeps us under budget better, too…I love a good casserole, but those cream-of soups, cans of Rotel, and ranch packets can really add up fast! I almost always go meat – vegetable – starch if I'm pinching pennies. (Except maybe some classic cheapies like spaghetti).

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  88. Marie Duong Lee Posted on September 18, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    You are awesome!!' Thanks for all the tips! ✨

    Reply
  89. GRU dTT Posted on October 3, 2019 at 1:58 am

    I really love your videos ❤️❤️❤️ But I had to inform myself about healthy nutrition a few years ago due to my husand’s health conditions. What I learned was clearly that animal products are bad for humans in the long run and responsable for all the major health problems in the western world – even if the meat, chicken, fish, dairy, cheese and eggs are organic and best quality .. just because of the animal protein….The problems don’t come over night of course. All the delicious meat, chicken, cheese etc. make you feel great while you are young. But after 40+ years of animal products in almost every meal, we start to pay the price. That’s why it is so dangerous. Have you heard about ‘the China study? If not, I recommend you look into it. Or watch ‘What the health’ or ‘Forks over knives’. After I saw the scientific proof I switched to a whole food plant based diet and left out all animal products – not so easy in the beginning, but the best decision of my life. My husband’s health improved immediatly and my own blood test improved as well. You are such a perfect mother and strong woman! Maybe you want to think about it and look into the information I mentioned… Love and Peace from Vienna, Austria 👍❤️☮️🇦🇹

    Reply
  90. Caitlin: Nurturing Light and Life Posted on October 12, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Who are you? we are the same!!!! Love this!

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  91. Caitlin: Nurturing Light and Life Posted on October 12, 2019 at 11:53 am

    I’m a STRAIT winger!! How else?! Winging makes so much sense to me!

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  92. Michelle DeFehr Posted on October 13, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I'm not a planner. I dont even plan homeschool 🙀 lol
    It gives me anxiety. And that's not cool. Winging it at my best 🙂

    Reply
  93. BabyLove6290 Posted on October 20, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I'm late to the video but found this so incredibly healthy. I'm a new mom to a 20month old and one on the way and feel overwhelmed by what to make for dinner quite often, always thinking it has to be profound and Pinterest perfect. Loved the tips on always having meat thawed (my downfall) and doing extra prep. Planning is not my strong suite and now I'm seeing it doesn't have to be to have home cooked meals each day! Thank you!

    Reply
  94. Stephanie Jo Rountree Posted on October 22, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    I've done it all, but it's just me now at 69, so I generally cook 2 or 3 times a week (planned or unplanned) and eat the leftovers in-between, change it up with additions, etc. I get very creative on a budget!

    Reply
  95. Real Time Violin Lessons with Ramona Dickinson Posted on November 25, 2019 at 6:53 am

    I tried planning out meals too or making a bunch of one thing to always be ready. . . . here's the real life I have encountered; my husband would call before dinner and say he was really craving mexican food, but I had a pound of cooked pasta in the fridge and mashed potatoes, and the next night I would feel like chicken fried rice and the food in the fridge would go to waste. I gathered from your post to have ingredients on hand that can be shaped into what you want quickly. So when I cook a whole chicken, I dont roast it anymore and be stuck with that flavor, I cook it in the instantpot with water and veggies and use the broth for soup that night. Pick the meat off and save it for tacos, or casserole or nachos, save the bones to bone broth later. What really stuck with me from this post is that your meal doesnt have to carry 'a title' to be worthy. Meat, veggies and starch makes a healthy meal. Thank you.

    Reply
  96. Katie Posted on December 21, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Thank you! I love this. Simplicity. I allow my self one night a week to make "coconut curry cream cheese casserole"….haha… To let my creative side free!

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  97. Amanda Brecto Posted on January 3, 2020 at 4:00 am

    I’m so excited to try the meat thawing idea!! Thank you!

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  98. Anna Schweitzer Posted on January 5, 2020 at 12:20 am

    You eat so healthy too! I love that your kids eat what you cook!

    Reply
  99. Erika Louwrens Posted on January 13, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Love this too!

    Reply
  100. nmoss m Posted on January 14, 2020 at 5:31 am

    I love your tips! Thank you.

    Reply
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