Do you ever feel like not cooking? Maybe you are tired from working all day, or maybe you're just not feeling well. And having to cook is just one more thing that you don't want to do. And in this video I'm going to give you tips on how you can use your planner to help when you don't feel like cooking.
If you're new here, hello, my name is Tonya and I make videos on functional and practical planning. On this channel I talk about how I use a planner to manage all of the different moving areas of my life. If that describes you or your person as simply like planners, please be sure to hit the like and subscribe button.
When you don't cook, you may end up eating out. I've noticed that eating out at restaurants cost at least three times more than it would have been had I cooked at home. And sometimes I think it's just not healthy to eat out. I enjoy eating out for social purposes because it's a great way to connect with friends and family. But I do feel concerned about the foods that I eat when I eat out. Because when you think about it, you don't know how the food is being prepared. Sometimes you don't know the ingredients that are put in them. And you don't know if the people preparing your foods were actually cleaned. If they wash their hands, are they keeping the restaurant kitchen clean? I have five tips on how you can use your planner when you don't feel like cooking.
So, tip number one when we don't feel like cooking is more of a matter of, we don't know what to cook. So, tip number one is about using your planner to come up with ideas about what it is that you like to eat and what you want to cook, go to a blank page in your planner and write down everything that you like to eat and that your family likes to eat.
Now I get stumped here sometimes because sometimes after working, I go into the kitchen, and I have no idea what I'm going to fix for dinner. So, if that's you and you have trouble thinking about what it is that you want to eat, one thing you can do is think about the last few restaurants that you visited and think about what you chose to order on the menu, write that down in your brain dump. So, in other words, if you are at a restaurant and you're looking at the menu, write down the things that you tend to order when you're eating out. The idea of this is that obviously that's the food that you like, because you ordered it at a restaurant and you were willing to pay for it. And also, the idea of the brain dump is so that you can use the list to recreate those meals that you purchased at a restaurant before. I love taking a meal idea from a restaurant and trying to recreate it at home. It's kind of a little challenge for me and it adds a little excitement to preparing the meals. So, you can google that and look up the ingredients and try to recreate that at home.
Tip number two for when you don't feel like cooking is to share the responsibility of cooking with other members in your household. What I like to do is use my planner to write down a day when it's somebody else's responsibility to cook. I think unfortunately in many households the responsibility to cook tends to fall on the female gender. I still feel a burden to cook. What I like to do is give the teenagers in my home a day where they're responsible for preparing the meals. This lifts some of the burden off me.
Please let me know in the comments, if you feel that most of the cooking tends to fall on the female gender, maybe it's me but I feel it's a tradition that puts a lot of pressure on the female the household now if you live alone, or if you're in a single parent family in those situations, you may not be able to share the responsibility of cooking unless your children are old enough to cook in the kitchen.
The third tip on how to use your planner for when you don't feel like cooking is to use meal planning inserts. Now you don't have to use meal planning inserts, you can plan your meals directly on planner pages. I personally prefer to do meal planning directly on my planner spread. But I do want to show you what I mean by that. I prefer to write my meal plans directly on my planner spread, this way it prevents me from doing a lot of flipping back and forth in my planner. I disliked doing that because when I have a lot of forms to update in my planner like trackers and meal planning forms and stuff like that, I'll start out updating the form. And then over time I get busy and I end up not using the extra forms. So, personally, if I'm going to plan a meal, I like to write it directly on my planner pages. So, for example, I might right around six o'clock, which is when I get off, I might just put an entry in here all my appointments scheduled dinner I could put in here, baked chicken, green beans, potatoes, and that's an example of how I would use my planner spread that way everything is right here on my planner pages.
Now here's an example of a meal planning page. On this side you write in what you plan to eat for each day of the week. So, Monday through Sunday is written over here and you would just write down what you plan to eat on these days. Over here is your shopping list. So first, you would write down what you plan to eat through the week and then you make sure you have all the ingredients so you would just simply list them over here. Now here's an example of another meal planner. Now on this meal planner, you have the days of the week written over here, so you have Monday, Tuesday and so on and so forth. And then you have a spot up here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And then on the back of the meal planner is your shopping list.
So, what's neat about this meal planner is that after you write in what you plan to eat for the week, then you make sure you have all the ingredients for it. So, let's say you're going to prepare dish, let's say its lasagna is you're able to take your ingredients and divide them out by sections. So, if you're physically going in a grocery store, this is helpful because you'll have all your produce listed in this block. You'll have all your meat, for example, in this block, and all your dairy over here. And separating your shopping list like this is helpful because that way you're not zigzagging all across the store.
So, tip number four for when you don't feel like cooking. Now this one might be a little controversial. Sometimes when I don't feel like cooking, I will actually skip a meal. There are benefits to fasting. There's a lot of information about fasting online. Of course, I need to say that you should research skipping a meal and fasting for yourself and check with your doctor if you have health issues and stuff like that. So, I actually do not eat breakfast, I eat my first meal around 11am. And I know that's controversial to a lot of people because a lot of people you've heard that saying, “The most important meal of the day is the first meal of the day”. And there's certainly some evidence to suggest that.
So, in your planner, if you plan to skip a meal, you can do some time blocking. So here I could put in what I plan to eat at 11 for example, so you can use your planner to write in the times that you plan to eat. I like to start my day with a fruit or vegetable. I know this is going to sound weird. I like to start my day without a breaded carb. I try to avoid bagels and toast and pancakes and waffles. And so, like for right here, if I start my day at 11, I can write down Okay, today I plan to start my day with a cucumber salad, I eat a lot of cucumbers. So, you can use your planner to write in the times that you plan to eat. Now if you don't stick with those times, exactly, it's okay.
Remember, your planner is just a plan. It's something that you plan to do. I look at writing down things, it means something does something in your mind. So even though I may write down that I'm going to do a cucumber salad at 11. If I'm super hungry, I'll move that up to 10:30. This is just a general plan for the day. So don't get too caught up on the times over here as far as when it comes to eating. And what I find is a lot of times when I write things down, it ends up coming to pass more often where if I don't write down anything at all.
So, when I start my eating later in the day, it reduces the window that I get to eat because I'm only awake for a certain number of hours. So, if I start eating less, I have a smaller window. And so, I'm consuming less food and it helps keep my weight down. That's why I do it. But people say that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I think it's because when you eat, it starts to speed your metabolism up. So, you actually burn more calories throughout the day. But the thing that I found is that the earlier I eat that I'm hungrier for the rest of the day.
So, tip number five for when you don't feel like cooking is to use a meal subscription service. So, when my money is tight, I actually pause the meal subscription service. But when I feel I can afford it, I do a meal subscription service. A meal subscription service actually let you go online, pick out some meals that you like. And they'll send you all the ingredients that you need with instructions on how to prepare the meal and the ingredients are fresh and they're minimally processed.
So, what I've ordered from the meal subscription service is two meals a week. I have four people in my household. So, it feeds for people that's included in the meal subscription box. I like it because all of the ingredients are there, it helps with meal portion control, you have just enough food for one plate. I tend to cook more than one plate worth of food. And what happens is I end up going back getting two or three more helpings after the initial plate. So, the good thing about a meal subscription service is that you get enough food for one plate. And that helps with portion control. Most of all, I love it because it allows me not to think about what I'm going to fix for dinner. Then the other five days of the week, I do need to worry about meal preparation. And I use my planner for that.
So, in my planner I will write in if I plan to use one of the meals in the meal subscription service. Now the cost of a meal subscription service, I think, is equivalent to the cost of eating out at an inexpensive fast-food restaurant. I ended up paying around eight or $9 per serving. It is $40 because I have four people that I'm preparing food for. Also, it's easy for me to delegate fixing dinner to my two teenagers in the home because then I can say, “Hey, can you fix one of those meals tonight, all of the instructions are there”. All of the ingredients are there. So, I kind of don't have to worry about it because they're old enough to cook and be safe about it.
So, the downside to a meal subscription service is the one that I use. I'll do a lot of cutting like for example they'll just send whole potatoes, I have to wash the potatoes, slice and cut the potatoes. So, there can be a lot of chopping and cutting involved. At first, I kind of didn't like that because it made meal preparation take longer, but now I do because I find that when I'm chopping and cutting it kind of decompresses the stress from the day and I get so engrossed in what I'm preparing that I forget everything else. So, it's a nice way to take your mind off of things.
Now this video is not sponsored. I tried my best not to mention any specific meal services. If you want to try out any of the meal subscription services, I will put the codes for free meal box or a discount code underneath this video. These are discount codes that everyone gets and that everyone can refer and share with their friends and family. And I'll put it down there in case you want to just try it out for a low price and see if it's for you. If you use the code, I get some type of credit toward the food in my household. So, if you do use the code, I really appreciate it. It helps my family out.
So those are my five tips for how to use your planner when you don't feel like cooking. Do you have any tips on when you don't feel like cooking? I would love to hear about it in the comments. Some of the best ideas come from you guys. So, feel free to write a comment. I respond to all comments. Please don't forget to like this video. This is Tonya helping you feel more organized so this can be your best year yet. Take care.