That’s my hope, anyway.
One of my biggest challenges as a mom is efficiently planning meals. When we just had Lucy, she and I would usually go to the grocery during the week to avoid the crowds. I occasionally take both girls now if I need to, but I prefer to go on the weekends when I have Matty to help me. This usually results in me getting up on Saturday morning and asking Matty the following three questions:
1. What do you want for lunches this weekend?
2. What do you want for dinners next week?
3. What are you going to take for lunches at work?
And he ALWAYS groans. And so do I! Waiting until the morning we are going to the store to plan out our meals results in us rushing to figure out what to eat so we can make our list . . . and we inevitably end up eating the same things.
So, with all that in mind, I made a few changes to my routine/system for meal planning and I’m hoping it helps for a much smoother 2018!
1. I am going to take time to plan our meals on Friday evenings after the girls go to bed. It’s not like we ever have big plans for Friday nights, so meal planning it is!
2. I want to try one new recipe a week. And planning out our meals on Friday night will give me time to browse through our cookbooks or search the Internet for a new recipe.
3. I recently read a blog that suggested people should plan four meals for the week: chicken, beef, vegetarian, and breakfast. I’m going to try and stick to that as well. The other three days will be leftovers or eating out.
4. I’m going to use these awesome new personalized notepads that Carla got me for Christmas. If something’s personalized, I’m going to love it! My plan is to list our meals and the required ingredients next to each meal on the pad on the left, and then create an organized list on the grocery pad (all the produce written together, dairy, dry goods, cleaning supplies, etc.) Not sure about the bottom pad yet, but I know it won’t go to waste!
5. I made a list of “Tried and True Meals” and taped it inside one of our cabinets. If we like a meal and want to eat it again, it’s going on this list so that I always have a reference of go-to meals.
The top list is short, but it’s a list of ideas for carry-out meals because sometimes I have a day where I just can’t think about dinner, no matter how well planned I am.
6. And finally, even though I don’t like a lot of clutter on our counters, I keep my planner, pens, and grocery list open on the counter where they are easily accessible.
Having the grocery list sitting right out on the counter instead of in a drawer has been a game changer. I used to be in the middle of cooking and I’d think “Oh, I’ll write that item down later,” and then totally forget! But now with everything right within my reach, I can jot it down quickly and be on my merry way.
So there you have it. I feel like I’ve got the cleaning and the laundry schedules down pat, and hopefully this new meal planning routine will help our 2018 run like the well-oiled machine our household was before kids. Ha!