To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Time for Organization Part I: Meal Planning & Weekly Reminders

"Let all things be done decently and in order" ~I Cor. 14:40

I have recently implemented a new system of menu planning.* As a Christmas present I received, from a friend, this weekly reminder. After several weeks of using it I am wondering how I ever managed without it. It has solved my "man, I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer" problem and helped me keep up with my daily tasks.  It has 4 columns and you can do whatever you want with them. Here's how I categorize mine: School, To-Do, Food Prep, and Menu. Each day I can look at my weekly reminder on the fridge and see what I have to do that day. 

The "School" section is where I remind myself what is going on with the kids at school that week. I write down anything they need to bring with them that day. If there's a special party and I have an item to send in, if it's band and I need to make sure they take their instrument, gym means I need to make sure they have sneakers with them, 1/2 day of school means I have to pick them up early. I make a note of all these things so I don't forget.

My "To-Do" section is for all those little things that need to get done but are not a regular chore like cleaning the fridge or organizing the downstairs closet.  A lot of times I would think of something I wanted to do then get side-tracked and forget what it was I wanted to do. Now I don't have that problem. Also, if I have a Dr. appointment. or have scheduled a a get-together with friends that week I jot it down in the "To-Do" section. 

The "Food prep" section is where I write when I need to take meat out of the freezer. I am notorious for forgetting to thaw what I need for the upcoming meals. I also write down any food I need to prepare early in the day like letting bread rise or cooking the meat ahead of time. Now I just look at my weekly reminder before I go to bed and see if I've forgotten anything. It has helped me SO much. 

The "Menu Planning"** section is what we are eating for dinner that night. I sit down about once every 2-3 weeks and plan out our meals for the next 2-3 weeks using what I have on hand in the house. I am not a week to week grocery shopper. I like to stock up on items when items go on sale. The only thing I HAVE to buy weekly is milk and Ben gets that on his way home from work.  Fruits & Veggies I can do every 2 weeks, and that can be stretched when necessary since I always keep frozen and canned fruits and veggies on hand. When I go to the store to buy my fresh produce then I will pick up the ingredient or two I have run out of or need for a meal I have planned. Then I stock up on whatever is a good buy that week. And when I say stock up I don't mean I stock up for the whole year or anything. I just get a couple months WILL come on sale again!

 This is just one way of doing things and if you are reading this in hopes of finding a method of organization that will work for you as far as meal planning goes, I hope it does! If not, then look around and find one that will work...there's lots of ideas and ways to do things out there!

*Having written this post a few years ago this method is no longer "new" to me but I can say it is how I have continued to do things and it still works great for me!

**I plan my meals around our calendar. If it's a day of the week that is particularly busy then I plan a crockpot meal for that day. Fridays are always an easy, kid-friendly meal like pizza or grilled cheese. I try to always have one pasta dish and one or two beef dishes (we get beef for free) to keep our grocery bill down. And you don't have to follow your plan exactly. Things come up unexpectedly or you end up with more left-overs than you anticipated. It's flexible with it and always write it out in pencil! 

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