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Menu Planning - A Lifesaver!

Posted on September 16, 2010 at 9:19 AM

 

If there is anything more satisfying in your endeavor to be organized and one of the very "first steps" to the "organization road", it has to be meal planning. It gives a satisfying "return" quickly. We all want to see a "profitable return" on our time.

 

Meal planning is tops on the list for that profitable return . How so? Look at this list.

 

1. Less time is spent in the kitchen (it's true)

2. Direction for what to fix for supper at the end of a hard day of homeschooling is a stress reliever

3. If your family has special health needs, they can be filled

4. Less time in the grocery store

5. Less money spent because we are not making several trips and we are getting everything we need

6. More variety equals more enjoyment by our family

 

Now, since we live in a "different world" than most folks when it comes to everyday living, I won't share with you crazy things on how to add variety, choose foods for eye appeal, contrast and balance foods,etc. Although it is good advice to follow, when you are trying to survive in the homeschool world, those things are secondary.

 

In reality, my family doesn't mind simple meals and will eat chicken two days in a row. Of course, each family is different but the most important thing is to menu plan.

 

Where to begin?

 

1. Start with the recipes your family enjoys the most. When I first started, I could only think of 5. So it made me start to try out different meals. My family appreciated the variety.

 

2. Think of a system that works for you. I prefer a 5 inch notebook with page protectors. I don't store cookbooks, I throw them away after going through them. See, in my ideal perfect world all of my pages would look the same in my ideal perfect cookbook, you know same font, same border-.BUT I don't live in that world.

 

So my page protectors are filled with handwritten pages, recipes on index cards, typed pages, pages torn out from recipe books and various other assorted colors. BUT it is organized and tabbed for ME and how my family eats.

 

Don't wait until you have the "perfect look" as THAT is NOT organization and you won't take the FIRST STEP. Again organization is about making it work for YOU.

 

Some moms prefer an online free planner or even recipes on index cards or even a Word Document that you can add to each time. Find a system for you.

 

3. Spend time on your Grocery List. My Grocery List is set up "Aisle by Aisle" for Kroger (The store I do most of my food shopping at). If you take time to type one Master List and then put it on the refrigerator, then ALL family members can contribute to checking off when they used the item last.

 

I can't express enough how much my printed grocery list has been a huge help to me through the years. I can update it any time. It also allows my sons to shop with Dad independent of me and now that my oldest will be driving, he can shop alone as he has a list "aisle by aisle"

 

Too, some moms prefer to laminate their list. ME, I prefer to print off like 20, keep them in my binder and then pull one out at the end of the week and put on the refrigerator.

 

So when it's time for the grocery store, your list is half done. It saves time too while you are cooking since you don't have to stop and write, just check off on your list what you need.

 

4. The last tip, try menu planning for a MONTH and not a week. This doesn't mean you can't buy weekly and take advantage of coupons but it means you have taken the time to plan for the MONTH and have flexibility within that month if you need to change things around.

 

Planning weekly is exhausting as the end of the week is here before you know it and there you sit on Sunday with what to fix the next week.

 

Menu Planning is a KEEPER when your day is full of homeschooling, activities and children.

Don't deprive them, take time to do it and it's WORTH every ounce of work you put into it.

 

If you want a copy of my Grocery List done AISLE BY ASLE in Word email me at newbintexas @ yahoo.com with "Grocery List" in the subject and I'll send it to you.

 

Hugs to you and WHAT'S FOR SUPPER?

 

©Tina Robertson - New Beginnings

 

©2010 Jupiter Image

 

Even though New Beginnings is located in Texas, our aim or goal is to help new or struggling homeschoolers anywhere. The workshops are a perk of our program, but the private e-loop is the focus of it. Our support program is not "location specific" but "individual specific".

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Categories: New Bee Articles-Organization (Home & School)