Isn't this every mother's bugaboo? Homeschool mom, working mom, volunteer mom, older mom, younger mom we all need to get the food on the table at regular intervals during the day. It's exhausting. Not only the cooking but the planning and shopping.
Now is the time of year that many of us moms kind of re-evaluate how things worked in the last school year in preparation of the upcoming school year. Even those who homeschool year round often take a break in the summer and use that break to refresh and re-plan. I am no different and part of the process is to figure out how better to feed my family.
My regular readers know that I have been slowly changing the way my family eats in terms of trying to eliminate chemicals and sugars from our diet. This is an ongoing process and it is one that I generally enjoy. The big change has been having to bake and cook from scratch so much more and finding time to do that in the mad rush of soccer practices, track meets, play rehearsals and dance classes was challenging and sometimes downright impossible.
There are only so many hours in a day and while I'm all for being prepared it seems that life has gone seriously awry when you seriously consider starting dinner at 5:45 in the morning because there is just no other time in the day to get it going.
Menu planning could help this. Seriously. And I know that but somehow it is one of those things I am not very consistent about doing. Can you explain that? I mean why stop doing something that works? Sheesh.
A few years ago my dear friend Alice mentioned she has used the book Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely with great success. I can't find a post about it on her blog so it might have been an actual real life conversation (imagine that!). I bought the book and have myself used it with great success. There are some excellent recipes and all come with a shopping list as well as suggestions for side dishes. Even if you don't own the book the exercise of making a list of dinners and creating a shopping list from that list is like buying yourself several free hours and a lot of piece of mind every evening. I know this because I am one of those women who has been seen at 6:00 p.m. with a package of frozen chicken cutlets stuck in each armpit running around the kitchen trying to quick thaw. This usually ends up with my spending some cash on a pizza or chicken delivery and kicking myself for feeding the kids food that I know in my heart of hearts is not really good for them. If this happened only once in a while I would feel no guilt but it has a habit of happening frequently in our crazy springtime schedule madness time.
I can't be the only one.
Please tell me I am not the only one.
So now I am trying to devise a simple schedule of meals that will allow me to change plans if I need to but also allow me to be prepared. Flexible. That's what I need.
I should mention that I have also done the bulk cooking thing and I liked that too. Chris, our friend Theresa and I spent an entire day a few years ago cooking up a storm. As a matter of fact I was pregnant with the twins to give you an idea how long ago that was (they will be four next month). It was an arduous day but also a lot of fun. We managed to spend not too much money and come away with a lot of meals for each home. I think we need to pick a date and do that again ladies.
So over the next few days I want to share my meal planning process. I will do breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks. I may break it up into a few posts so it is not too much at once. Then we can move on to homekeeping.
Are you with me? Good. Because I want to hear all of your good ideas along the way. Share and suggest because I am a dope when it comes to this stuff so knowing what works for people might just help me and who knows who else out.
Blessings to your day.