Another weekly chapter from Organize Now! book; meal planning.

Meal planning is a big thing for many people and there are endless tips on Pinterest, FB, magazines, etc. Meal planning is stressed by many professionals in the health industry to help avoid processed foods and child rearing specialists. But how many people actually do it?

woman in front of table
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This is something that I have always tried, struggled with and typically failed at. If I make a plan, it must be followed to the letter or my OCD explodes like a volcano. Since life happens and plans change without notice-especially with children or I am having one of my bad days-this approach to meal planning is the exact definition of epic fail!

I subscribe to two different magazines and they each have tips about meal planning. Some I take, some I ignore. Pinterest is a borderline obsession of mine lately. The ideas found run through my mind like a waterfall. Love it!! Add it all up and it is too much information! Weeks 55 & 56 are all about meal planning and how to approach it. (I decided to skip around in the book.)

Now on my third week of trying these tips, I still keep the book open while I am meal planning and making my grocery list. It is sooo much easier now. I feel less stressed, even when plans change and the item on the planner has to be cancelled or rearranged. D- is able to help cook more often and A- is getting a chance to really start helping with meal prep. Twice last week our meal plan was tossed completely out of the window and it did not bother me at all. No stress, no negative self thoughts, no irritation, no scramble to the store or frantic searching through the freezer. Just “oh well”.

As part of the tips in every source I have read lately, last week was a “no-shop” week. Rummage around in the freezer and cupboards to plan all meals for the week and only buy the basics, like milk and bread. With a lack of creativity in this department, the internet became my friend and helped me throw ideas together. It went over surprisingly well. The girls did not even notice the lack of extra everything in the fridge. I barely noticed it and I enjoyed not spending time at the grocery store. Bonus!! 🙂

I make sure that we have everything we need for two basic dinners on standby. This has helped out a ton; especially last week. Leftovers have always been popular in our home, so this is dinner once a week (usually with a salad added on). Fresh produce goes fast around here and the meal planning has helped me expand the varieties. Now we are getting different kinds of veggies and eating more of them as well. I crave zucchini!

Meal planning is not just about easy organization, it is also about education. The girls are learning about food varieties, portion control, and not wasting as much food. I am learning more about the health impact of my previous style of cooking. I am learning how to cook foods I have never had before and expanding my own kitchen skills. For this week, we have two of our family favorites on the menu, tacos and meatloaf; and we are trying a new item from one of my cook books. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

What are you family favorites?

What are your go to dinners in a hurry?