Well, I wish I could say that homemaking comes naturally for me, but it doesn’t. I struggle in this area, but my deepest desire is to learn to be a homemaker, to cook, sew, clean, teach (all with a smile) and pass that on to my girls.
This week was my first venture in meal planning. It was time-consuming, but so far I love the ease of knowing what’s for dinner and breakfast. I found a great blog, The Project Girl, with free templates and printed the first one on her site. I took out a few cookbooks and let the planning begin. I took the advice from Lorrie Flem in her book “What’s For Dinner, Mom?” and planned 6 weeks of meals. I wanted to include breakfast because that was the other question I am always asked is, “What’s for breakfast?” So, off I went with pen in hand and came up with my schedule and my meals. I planned a different type of meal for each day:
Monday: B-Something with eggs, D-Mexican
Tuesday: B-Oatmeal, D-Chicken
Wednesday: B-Something with syrup, D-Casserole
Thursday: B-Quick from the freezer (zucchini bread, muffins, granola…), D-Crockpot
Friday: B-D-Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Special Breakfast (whatever I choose), D-Again whatever I choose (something
to double for the freezer)
Then, I went through my recipes, photocopied the ones used and stapled them to their corresponding week. So, I have 6 weeks of planning sheets with the corresponding recipes attached to the back. This way, when I was making the grocery list (at the bottom of the planning page), it was easy to flip through the recipes to see what was needed.
After that, I went into excel and created a spreadsheet with 4 sheets under one file. I made a grocery list with the categories going across the top and listed the items underneath (I created a separate column next to the ingredients column for the amount. The first sheet is my grocery list for weeks 1-3, the second is for weeks 4-6, the third is for any pizza making ingredients, and the fourth is for breakfast items to keep on hand.
This has been one of the best things this week. I look ahead to see what’s on my list and off to the kitchen I go. I’m trying to freeze items like meat and veggies to make it even more simple. How great it is to have dinner made in under 30 minutes! Breakfast has been great, too. No more questions because it is made before they wake up.
Our tummies are full, smiles are on faces, and whining has decreased. I’m glad that I finally took the time to plan and my family is, too. Do you meal plan? I’d love to hear any tips you might have!