English: A hot dog. Français : Un hot-dog.

We eat take-out a lot.  Far more than I’d like or we can strictly afford.  Part of it is that I am genuinely too busy to cook on days when I work, then drive kids back and forth, then come home to more cleaning and unpacking and before I know it it’s 7:00 and we haven’t eaten yet.  Part of it thought, perhaps the greater part, is poor planning.  I don’t cook because I haven’t thawed anything (and I hate microwave thawing).  I haven’t thawed anything because I didn’t plan what to make that night.  While I do try to keep supplies for quick and easy meals on hand there is only so much pasta or so many hot dogs we can eat.

In an effort to save money, get us all to the dinner table (instead of in front of the tv or at the breakfast bar) and get everyone to eat better, I’m planning ahead.  I’ve done this in the past, and when I’m doing it I do very well.  I’m not actually sure why I stop planning ahead.  Whatever the reason, finances and the economy being what they are I don’t have the luxury of just giving up any more.

We first were trying a cookbook (which I will not name), that plans out menus and grocery lists for you, and you just follow along.  Chris hated pretty much every recipe I made from the book over the two weeks I used it.  I know some of the recipes are good, but these just weren’t.

Instead, we signed up once again with e-Mealz.  I learned about them on another blog a year or so ago and loved the easy recipes and the many different menu choices.  There are a number of stores you can specifically get a menu for, and there are specialized menus depending on your health needs.  The recipes are actually good, and are affordable.  The service itself is fairly inexpensive too.

No, they’re not paying me to say all that.  I’m just passing along a tip.  I use their menus to stay on track, and if you want to check them out feel free.  If not, don’t.  I’m not an affiliate, and don’t make money if you sign up.

So anyway, that’s Goal #1, and is my top goal for January, meaning it is what I am concentrating the most on this month.  What are some of your goals or resolutions for 2012?