Meal Planning

Posted by Administrator on 5/19/2015 to Kemaily

Older but handy post!

Some people think that I enjoy organizing and planning ahead, nothing could be farther from the truth.  I do not like it, but I hate chaos more, and that is what seems to happen when I don't.  I'm still getting the hang of working full time, raising 3 kids, running a home, & also being a teacher to a 1st & 3rd grader.  My husband works 50-70 hr weeks, never know when he will be home, and we never know if he will have a day off until the night before.  He averages 2-3 days off a month, on a good month it's more like 3-5.  All of this is the reason as to why I do what I do!  So if it is 1 in the morning and I'm heading to bed and I get the urge to organize? I do it! Odds are I will be to exhausted and not in the right frame of mind to do it later.  I am not a morning person.

The first place to start when getting your house more streamlined?  I think it's meal planning.  Meals are the one constant thing in your life that will never change, you have to eat, or at least your kids do.  Once you knock that challenge out of the way everything else becomes easier!  When I first started I would print off a 1 month calender and fill it out, now I fill out 3 months in advance so instead of stressing about it 12x's a year? I only have to do it 4x's a year =)  Eventually I would like to get it down to 1 or 2x's a year.  Stepping stones......

I don't use cookbooks, I hate clutter!!  I prefer to borrow books from the library, copy what I want and return.  I'm pretty sure with the amount of cooking, baking, and organizing books I check out each month they think I am a incapable of either and my house looks like a tornado went through.  I keep all my recipes in a accordion file.  I take out the recipes the night before, or I pin them to the fridge so I don't have to dig for them later.  I would love to make a cookbook scrapbook but since I change my mind so much it wouldn't work out to well. 

Some places we've found great recipes our family will eat are

kraftfoods.com

allrecipes.com

tasteofhome.com

With 5 of us and crazy schedules I stick to basics, no fancy ingredients, should be on the table within 30 minutes-1 hour(unless crockpot) after starting, and as fresh of ingredients as possible.  I always keep staples such as

diced tomatoes

tomato paste

spaghetti sauce

black beans

cream of mushroom

noodles(spag, elbow, rotoni, penne, ziti)

spices

bread crumbs

kidney beans

olives

In our freezer you will find rows of frozen veggies, enough chicken and pork for a few months, and beef for an entire year.  When it comes to grocery shopping I stock  up on sale items, only the ones that we use of course.  I usually only hit 1 store a week, maybe 2, and a warehouse once every 2-3 months.  Shopping with 3 is exhausting I think, so I would rather spend more time on 1 trip then dragging them multiple times throughout the week.

Once finished filling everything out, as much as possible I keep everything together taped inside the cabinet by the oven.

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