The Fresh 20

Food is important around here. In the past Josh and I would end up eating out for dinner probably 3 times a week and even though we are wanna-be foodies, we don't have the budget to hit-up every fusion, french or fancy restaurant in town. So we often times would resort to pizza, chipotle, chick-fil-a, or subs from somewhere quick.

We decided recently that this was NOT a good plan for our waist line or our budget and we wanted Felix to grow up in a home that had meals around the table together, so we committed to eating at home more often.

Now, this was a good idea in theory, but I lacked imagination in the meal planning department and had no knowledge about how to do this in a cost effective way. Often times I would plan a meal the day it was to be eaten and then go out and buy all the ingredients for said meal. Ending up in about 30 bucks spent at the grocery store. We would have left overs, but in my head if I was spending that much on one meal for 2 at home and still dealing with clean up afterwards, we may as well be eating out.

Enter a few weeks of feeble attempts and frustration that led to a random discussion on Sunday afternoon about meal plans, a quick Facebook post asking for some advice and my friend Amanda suggesting The Fresh 20. It was down hill from there.

Being food lovers, busy and on a budget the Fresh 20 was perfect. It compiles a weekly menu (5 nights a week - not the overwhelming 7 like other meal planners) then gives you an itemized grocery list of 20  ingredients to purchase for ALL your meals that week. That's it. 20 items. Some ingredients are in multiple dishes, others are used up on one night. And because the list includes in-season items that you use multiple times throughout the week (so you can buy in bulk) it helps save money  So far our weekly dinner costs on the Fresh 20 has been about 70 dollars or less and many times the meals have leftovers to carry our lunches as well.

Meals like garlic chicken with massaged kale and avacado salad, Grilled sausage pizza with homemade pesto sauce and cantaloupe, or grilled chicken tacos with pineapple salsa are a few of our favorites. I'm loving it. I'm trying new dishes that I would never come up with on my own. And they are WAY healthier than my regular go-to dishes but these are still packed with flavor. I'm hoping to document some of our meals and share them here on the blog. Stay tuned!

How do you meal plan for the week? What are some of your go-to dishes?

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