Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dinner Organized...I Try

I prefer to go to the grocery store once a week. Does that mean I get there only once a week? I wish!! I also wish I could say I have a set day of the week. I don't. Sunday probably is in the running for the day we often go, but Friday or Monday's fall in there too.

Before grocery shopping, I try to make a meal plan for the week. My biggest problem is getting a variety of meals. It's not that I don't want variety, but I seemed to have trained my kids not to like very many things. Although, as they get older they are getting more adventurous. This sure wasn't an intentional plan, but it did happen. (Be nice).

Part of deciding a dinner menu for the week, is determining who will be home to eat. My husband travels with some frequency, so some meals don't include him. I also need to choose simple meals for days where we have activities in the evening. Some examples of simple meals at our house are prepared taco dip (prepared by me in advance), meat or soup heated in the Crockpot or sandwiches that can be put together quickly. Simple meals usually do not include turning on the oven. We might grill a sandwich or  heat a can of soup, but no more complicated than that.

Once I make a meal list and assign it to each day, we pretty much stick with the list. Occasionally, I will be too tired to make something, or I will forget to thaw meat. We then skip to another meal that is on the list and won't complicate another evenings plan. I do write my list out manually, usually on the upper corner of my grocery list. Once I shop, I tear it off and put in the fridge with a magnet. Crazy simple. Although I hear there are apps for all this menu grocery stuff. Not sure if this would simplify things for me or not. If you have found one you like, I'm interested to hear.

I will try to prep some things long before dinner. Tonight is a good example. It's me and the girls for dinner. We will have cheese, crackers, chips, salsa, watermelon, strawberries, cabbage and cucumbers. This afternoon before they arrive home, I will cut the watermelon, cabbage, cucumber and wash the strawberries. When it is time for dinner, I can pull everything out and set it on the table for consumption. We will end up with leftovers, so we put the lids back on containers and back in the fridge it all goes. Some of those fruits and veggies will then be available in the next few days to eat for snacks or add to other meals.

I'm not sure if this post is really helpful, but it is the way I, Your Organized Friend, try to keep meal planning and prepping organized. And I fully admit, it isn't a perfect system. I would love things to be better organized. I will keep trying along with the rest of you!

Any tips for me? What helps keep your meal planning organized?

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