Friday, June 20, 2014

40x40 Update: Day 25 - Meal Planning (in my defense)

My goal was to plan (at first) six months ahead - then I said three and finally settled on two months. I accepted that I need to accommodate what I could realistically complete. I've got the rest of June, all of July and August done and it feels amazing!

I've been teased for years about my meal planning and when sharing my Day 25 40x40 challenge on Facebook, my sweet sister started teasing me about it and it was her goal to teach me a few things about living life instead of planning meals. It got me thinking - why do I meal plan?

Reaching way back in my memory, I recall the first time I started planning meals. I was working as an order-picker in a sewing supply warehouse. Although I liked the job, it was dreadfully mundane and sometimes I needed something to pass time while I was wandering the isles picking orders. It was usually the same thing week after week but it killed five minutes.

Later on, it evolved to planning when my husband worked out of town. I again ate the same thing Monday to Thursday, week after week, but always tried to plan different things when he was home.

When I went back to work after our son was born, it had to happen. I was gone from the house 7am until 4:30pm and my husband didn't cook so I had to make sure he knew what to make for breakfast and lunch plus, I needed to be able to spend as much time with my baby as possible when I got home from work.

Planning further ahead (like I've been doing since February) works so much better for me for a few reasons...

1. Planning ahead helps me save money.
2. It takes the guess-work out of dinner.
3. Aids me in planning more nutritious meals.
4. Gives me more time with family.
5. Helps me stay on budget for our 'dining out' budget and our grocery budget.
6. Reduces my stress level because I'm not worrying about it.
7. Ensures I have several meal choices on hand (in case we don't feel like what's on the menu that day).
8. Once I get another five months planned, other than tweaking it and rotating in new meal choices, I won't have to worry what's for dinner for a good long time to come!
9. Less time in the kitchen!
10. During the school year, we have commitments on at least one night a week, knowing what's for dinner means we can eat and get out the door on time and I don't turn into Momzilla.

And those, friends, are just off the top of my head. If I thought a little more, I'd likely come up with 10 more!

Everyone is different - some of us plan, some of us don't. I say do what works for you and be happy. Life is too short to worry about what others are doing but if I had to give anyone a piece of advice, it would be to try menu planning - you might just like it!

Sister: I'm expecting you to teach me some of what you've promised!

PS If you're interested in learning how I menu plan and how others do it, here are a few links so you can be in the know too and simplify your life.

My menu planning guidelines
Our Family Recipe Index (it needs updating)
The Organizing Junkie's recipe selection criteria
More Org Junkies Menu Planning Resources

1 comment:

  1. How do I get all the posts of 40 By 40. Looking forward to reading more of your posts. My email is Thanks a bunch.



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