We have all been there, you get in after a long day at the office, running around, picking up kids, you still have several hours to put in at home later on, and you have your brood to feed. Someone pops the question “hey, what’s for dinner?” You freeze in a state of panic as you have no idea what so ever is for dinner, nor how you are gonna pull something together with the little energy you have left.
As juggling mama’s we have a ton on our plate, all the time. So it comes as no surprise that we all falter in a few areas. The more moms I talk to that live the life of super mom, wife, career woman,and super star confess that meal planning and cooking are their achilles heal. I too have suffered this plight, but am happy to say that I found a way to beat the 5 O’clock witching hour with out pumping my family full of take out and microwave fair.
Here are my best tips just for my fellow juggling mama’s:
Every Sunday I brew a good cup of jo get a comfy blanket, the paper, my favorite cook books, a note book, and some chocolate (that one’s just for me
With my supplies in hand I whip out the adds and see whats on sale, and match it to my coupon’s. From this I go to my cook books and start looking for recipes that will include whats on sale. I plan out six meals usually. I base them on what’s on sale and what I have in the freezer, but you could just go straight to what looks good to you if you are not a coupon fan like me.
As I make my list I write my meals in the upper right hand corner so I remember what I planned while I am shopping. This has come in handy several times when determining what I forgot or what sides to change up if I find something that looks good at the store.
The little details that save my bacon
In addition to adding my meals to my list I add them, and a few other things clues to some key places to help me along post shopping day.
- I post my meal plan to the family calendar so I know what we are having. This also comes in handy when hubby comes home early and wants to start dinner. He can go right to the calendar and know what we have and what to use. I also put the source of my recipe next to the menu plan so he or I can find it easily. I get very inspired from magazines and books so I could have four new recipes from three different places on any given weekly plan. This really helps.
- Another great tip that I couldn’t live with out is putting what to take out in the way of frozen foods for the next day into my calendar or day planner. I get a cue to take out hamburger for chili the night before so I am never adding time to my meal prep for defrost.
- Plan accordingly, there are nights for us that we have church functions, sports, ect and I know that they are just crazy, so I save crock pot meals or easy stuff for those nights.
- Be flexible if it doesn’t work out just pump a meal then you have one less to add to your list next week.
Don’t go it alone
There are a ton of sights, and books, ect. to help you out. Just google meal plan help and there is something for every one. I also am a magazine junky, I subscribe to several food and cooking magazines. Pretty much all of them have weekly meal plan sections, fast meals,and sectioned recipes to choose from. This also ensures no more repeats, or boring dinners.
Another Idea some of the moms I know do is a meal plan exchange. You all operate on the same system planning one week then pass the list. You get a month’s worth of meals with only four friends. You also get lots of variety and new recipes to boot with out the magazine or web site subscriptions.
This is the best way to be as organized in the kitchen as you are in the office. Another benefit is you will save a ton each month that you don’t just dial for pizza, or walk aimlessly through the store without a plan. Try it this week and let me know what you think!0