As adults, certain chores get repetitive, don’t they? Chores like meal planning and cooking 3 squares a day just burn my grits. Eating occurs a little too predictably at our house, but I learned a secret. The Q.O.D. meal plan saves me time and money, so it’s a win/win.
What is it you ask? You didn’t take Greek or Latin in high school? I did, but darned if I can give it to you in any particular language, just medical-ese. Any nurse will tell you it refers to a medication administered every other day. Yes, Q.O.D. means every other day.
When applied to my kitchen, it’s a prescription I find quite appealing.
· Cook Monday, enough for two meals.
· Cook Tuesday, enough for two meals.
· Wednesday eat Monday leftovers.
· Thursday eat Tuesday leftovers.
· Friday date night go out for a bite.
· Saturday eat light while prepping Sunday dinner
Boom! I cooked three times, stretched my meat, and saved money on my grocery bill in the process. Adapt my Q.O.D. meal plan to any variance of days in the week and it still works. Cook Sunday/Monday, reheat Tuesday/Wednesday, cook Thursday, date night Friday, reheat Saturday…it adapts to any schedule.
Preparation is your Friend
Finding and adapting recipes requires a little digging or math, and I hate math. These tips may help:
· Make Pinterest your new best friend and start a qod board.
· Print out recipes you want to try, and keep the good ones. Pitch the bad ones.
· Keep a small notepad with you, and utilize those waiting room hours in multiplying ingredients so recipes are ready to go when you’re ready to cook.
· At the bottom of each page keep a shopping list of items not usually in your cupboard.
· Leave space for notes. Who liked it? Did it take longer in the oven than expected? Do you want to try any variations?
Don’t let these tips overwhelm you if you’re spinning in a tight curve going 60 miles an hour. Take it slow and build up your arsenal as you find the time. The key point is beginning with a system in hand.
What if your Family Hates Leftovers?
I know, I’m fortunate my husband likes leftovers. As a matter of fact, he thinks they taste better the second time around. (His momma trained him well.) Not to worry, however. It’s all in the presentation. Cook it in two pans, and it looks like a brand new offering the second time around. Add extra cheese on top or stir in a flavoring that stumps picky taste buds. Add biscuits or a side to dress it up. Serve it in a taco shell and call it Taco Thursday. Your creativity will kick in when you realize the benefit of the plan. Trust me.
I live in the fast lane on a fixed income. Saving time and money ranks right up there with winning the lottery. Being able to prioritize where I invest my energy makes it possible for me to spread myself a little thinner and do a little more. Remember: Q.O.D. and score big!