The Queen of Coupons Reigns......


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Meal Planning

I've had the best intentions to create a Meal Plan for my family. My husband suggests that we do this almost monthly. I sometimes work best in retrospect...and so I've been putting what we've had for dinner on the calendar. (Eventually I'll have a full month's worth of meals written down and then I can just repeat it... Ag! Stop. I'm a pretty darn good cook--but even I don't know if I'd want to do that.) I guess I might have to take a new approach to this assignment. The car might drive better if you get it out of reverse, right?

I found this cute website that had a great upload for creating a meal plan. If this is something you're interested can just click and print the copy above or use it as a simple model to create your own. It's very simple! But, sometimes, it's just seeing what other people do and use, that jump starts an idea in your own thoughts. I've found that looking at a blank piece of paper is harder for me to think and get motivated--then looking at a sheet that breaks down a plan into daily steps. [Copying or duplicating is sometimes the highest form of praise (compliments)--because it indicates that their idea was better then what you could have done without inspiration! So kudos to all the master-organizers in the world! Life is really about the details...right down to the food we eat.]

If you think dinners are hard to plan and prepare for on a daily basis--what about lunch? The wholesome mommy even linked a great planner for lunches. I'm a little beyond this stage with my kids being in school full-time--but this would have been a great resource idea if I had all my kids at home during the day. [Can you imagine what homeschoolers go through trying to come up with not one, but two creative meal plans, a day.] Hooray for sack lunches!

Ooops! I just inadvertently admitted that I am NOT a breakfast person--so, in my book, it doesn't have to be planned. It's a "fend for yourself" at breakfast time in our house. But I've have friends that have planned their first meal of the day down to a science! Mondays is always waffles. Tuesdays are always hot cereal. Wednesdays are always french toast.... You get the idea. Fry-ups are on Fridays!

But sometimes the organization and order, of having your meals planned and listed in a place that everyone can see, creates contentment and peace in the weekly routine. I have one child, in particular, that functions like clockwork. If it's 5:30pm--he's ready for dinner (hungry, or not). If it's 7am--time to get up (regardless of who's still wanting to sleep). He knows what the lunch menu at school is, even though he only buys lunch twice a month. He is driven by order and routine--and so I think that a meal plan in my house would check one more thing off the list of getting my family more organized--and give him something else to keep track of ;)

If the kids know what is for dinner-I would be more likely to ask them for specific help in preparing it--especially if I'm out running errands and get off to a late start in getting it started. And I'm lucky to have kids that would be willing to help, when asked, but I often don't even bother because I'm in a frenzied time crunch and I find it faster if I just do it myself. [I'm sure there are multitudes of mothers who have no idea what I'm talking about!] Truly, I have no desire to be like the caption in the picture above. I want my kids prepared to fend for themselves in a healthy, balanced, and capable of way! I just need to raise the bar in what's expected of them, so that they can experience what it takes to plan, prepare, and feed a family of their own!

But, if nothing else, I've prepared my kids to share in the household labors that we all benefit from. The stereotypes of old are fading and we are moving into a another realm of participatory involvement. Although, I have to say, I still think that a man that does dishes is incredibly HOT!

P.S. (Can you do that in blogs?)
I saw this fabulous idea on another blog about making your own weekly meal planner from a master copy and then having it bound at a copy store, like Kinkos. I thought the idea was exceptionally brilliant, since we don't have to "buy" somebody else's ingenuity--we can personalize and reproduce our very own, and in our own creative style. The idea is priceless! And then you have the benefit of a running record of different options and culinary success stories. If you collaborated with a friend and/or make a coordinating recipe book--that would ROCK! I'm thinking about my teenage daughter and how this would make a great values project that would benefit her for a lifetime!

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