Since I now stay at home with the kids, my newly proclaimed job description has been “thrifty décor lady who is constantly moving things around the house and redecorating”. I will sit and stare at a wall for much longer than I’d like to admit, […]
I am in shock that I’ve been meal planning for over a year. This task that would bring up strange feelings of frustration, fear of failing and annoyance has now become normal, easier, and a stress reliever. There was so much tension when my husband would ask what was for dinner every night, that I would unravel since I had no idea and I was completely consumed by how difficult being a stay at home mom is. Of all the things he would ask for in our marriage and life, it was just to know what was for dinner!
So we needed to figure something different out. Enter, meal planning.
Obviously this isn’t a new concept. But the idea of it sent me reeling down a rabbit hole of despair. How could I find time to sit down and do this? Doesn’t he understand how hard I’m trying? Who cares what is for dinner?! Heat up some nuggets dude! Yet, here’s the thing. It does matter hugely to nourish my family. It does matter so much for my husband who is a Type 1 diabetic. I had to seriously get over my issues of already assuming I would fail at this, and just try it.
I set up some boundaries for myself, telling him that if I was to be successful at this, I would need time set aside to focus on this. I set an hour aside for two nights in a row, with the third “in case” I needed it. Turns out, once you start doing meal planning, it starts to flow a lot easier, and you end up reusing a lot of recipes/dinners that your family loved and you enjoyed cooking. I decided that I wanted to meal plan and shop for two weeks. I thought if I set aside the time to do this, I wanted to make sure I could do this as minimally as possible (twice a month seemed to be the answer). I did this for the entire year (plus).
Listen. Coming from the biggest critic out there, who literally dragged her feet through the mud before doing this; THIS HAS BEEN THE BEST THING I’VE ACCOMPLISHED in a long time. I don’t have plans on stopping. It makes everything easier (cue the angels singing). My grocery shopping is more streamlined, I’m not scrambling to throw dinner together (most of the nights), and best of all, my husband always knows what’s for dinner! (Hurray).
There is no more skimming the aisles at a grocery store and throwing in crap because it looks good, you think you need it, it may sound good later, etc. Your bills are much more manageable, expected, and smaller! It has been a great way to budget.
As you can see, I probably don’t have a future in bullet journaling, because every page was torn out of some notebook and free-handed just to get the thing done! I think one is even on a torn out sheet from my kids “Moana” coloring book (#goals, I know). But that doesn’t matter! You don’t have to be perfect at this, it doesn’t have to be typed out (although that may have made things more streamlined…I blame the lack of printer). This is now something I can do while one kid is napping, or they are watching a show or playing. It has gone from a few hours spread over a few days, to a little under an hour to put together the meals, check the recipes for what ingredients I need and write up the shopping list. I have found writing out my shopping list (split into Costco and Safeway) has been the easiest. We do use an app called “Cozi” to share lists, including shopping lists, but there is something about having that pen and paper in my hand with the two kids while grocery shopping that has been easier.
I encourage everyone to take this step for their family! It isn’t as daunting as it seems once you start to do it. It helps in so many areas! Let me know if you have any questions on how we do it, if you need any close up examples of my
beautiful meal plans, or need any tips!