Friday, February 10, 2017
First up, meal planning.
Oh, how this used to frustrate me (and sometimes still does, let's be real).
It was especially challenging while my daughter was on the Ketogenic diet for epilepsy.
During that time, we were also living on a very remote cattle ranch.
Running to the store because I needed something specific for dinner wasn't an option,... at least not an easy one.
So, I streamlined my meal planning.
(with the help of inkWELL press - see the end of the post for a discount code! *although, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just love this company)
It USUALLY looks like this:
Sunday: Snack supper (fruits, popcorn, cheese) or Sunday Supper (where we invite a family over and I do a whole big meal)
Monday: This is the one that varies. Often it's chicken of some sort - BBQ or slow cooker over rice or potatoes
Wednesday: Pasta (Usually either fettuccini or tortellini alfredo and broccoli)
Friday: Grill out (summers) or soup (winters)
Saturday: Homemade pizza night!
Following this basic menu allowed me to take the pressure off of the planning. If we were sick of alfredo, we'd switch to regular spaghetti or a fancy mac&cheese. But, keeping that night in the pasta category limited my choices (in a good way).
Grocery shopping became simplified. I had a rough idea of what my cost was going to be (depending on current store promotions or special occasions). And, I RARELY forgot anything because I picked up basically the same thing every time.
After each weekly menu spread, inkWELL press has included a grocery list to fill in for the week. I love being able to add to it throughout the week BEFORE I shop. It's all in one nice, neat, organized space for when I'm at the store. I am now so much less likely to forget something! Plus, the menu planner is compact enough to fit easily in my purse and it will cover a WHOLE YEAR of weekly menus!
And, my sweet friend, Katie, had the brilliant idea of marking in the bottom right corner how much your groceries cost that week so you can compare week to week how much you've spent!
Now, I'm not saying you have to follow this exact plan.
But, pick your family favorites and build a menu from there.
My husband loves Taco Tuesdays and Saturday night pizza nights are one of his family's traditions, so we stuck with those. My kids love alfredo, so that's easy (and cheap!).
Kids never seem to mind eating the same thing over and over.
I love that mine get excited for dinner.
(and I LOVE not throwing away a lot of food from trying a new recipe and having no one like it)
Find what works for you and go with it!
I have ALWAYS depended on a paper planner. My dad used to have this electronic one when I was little that he referred to as his "brain". I totally get that. People now tend to use their phones. For me, if it is out of sight, (like once entered into a digital calendar) it is out of mind. I need to be able to flip through and see everything at once. I have used a paper planner for as long as I can remember.
And then, one fateful day in 2013, I saw an advertisement for a NEW planner company that caught my attention. The planners were classy, beautiful, and looked totally functional.
I have been an inkWELL press customer since day 1.
Perhaps I will dedicate an entire "simple saturday" to their products sometime, since they have been instrumental in simplifying my life (no little notes to myself all over - my amazing planner holds EVERYTHING).
In the meantime, if you would like to try them out, use this link to sign up and receive $10 off your first order of $50.
You won't regret it.