Meal Planning

I want to start this post first by saying that I am choleric so organizing or budgeting  has never really been a weakness for me.  Our family has always been on a tight budget so planning ahead for meals is something we always just did. This planning has come in handy when I started to homeschool. Again this will fall right in line with your families rhythm. Once you have your established meal times down it ‘s time to start working on your weekly menus. I have learned in “Waldorf”  that less is more. Some good words of wisdom I have heard from Melisa Nielsen’s radio show(http://waldorfjourney.typepad.com/the_gnomes_home/) is to not be a collector but a doer. This is good advice for everything. So when our family started downsizing our “clutter” I went through and realized I had a lot of cookbooks I had collected that I maybe used one or two recipes from. I went and bought a big binder and made  dividers  with tabs  for each season. I copied the recipes and placed them in the season I thought they worked best in . For example chili is a fall favorite so that’s where I placed it under.This also helps our family to eat what is in season. I kept a handful of cookbooks that I live out of and sent the rest on their way. I have organized my binder to have  at least 14 meal recipes for each season so I can rotate meals for 2 weeks without facing boredom of having the same thing. Any new recipe I want to try gets placed in the pocket while waiting to be approved by the panel of tough  judges. This has helped speed up on my weekly planning and grocery list. I know what we are going to have and what ingredients I will need for each week.  There are some staples of course like pizza we have year round but tend to use more seasonal ingredients. We are also a “package” free family meaning no cereal ,frozen waffles, or boxed food  enters our home. So to make things flow smoother on my end I sit down on Sunday, while sweet papa cooks us breakfast, to glance over the weekly menu. I see what I can make in advance for the week to take less pressure off  myself in the kitchen. I know we will be having pizza Friday so I went ahead and made my crusts ahead of time and put them up in the freezer. Spaghetti is also on the menu so I prepared the sauce and jarred it up to be ready to go. I also always double my recipes. This helps on those days I don’t feel like cooking and need something fast. Or on days I don’t have time to fix a big breakfast I have left over french toast to pop in the toaster. Look as well to see how you can get the most out of a meal. For example an easy Sunday meal at our home is roasted chicken with pataoes , onions and whatever other vegetables are in season with some crusty bread. The left over chicken gets taken off the bone and made into chicken fried rice later in the week.   Take some time to really organize your recipes and start  simplifying what you have and not just in the kitchen .Your sanity will thank you for it.

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4 Responses to “Meal Planning”

  1. dottyspots Says:

    Such a good idea re recipe books. I have quite a few, but use very little of them (tbh the internet is such a good source of recipes). I think it would be well worth doing the same thing and slimming them down a bit! Mind you the same could be said for knitting and craft books – I mostly knit from my head now, so only use a very few books as reference.

    I’m also very choleric in temperment, so we have a weekly budget (well I work to spreadsheets that plan monthly and for months in advance – I like to know exactly what’s coming in and going out month’s in advance ;0)

  2. Jane Rowley Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post! Thanks so much for sharing it. We have been on a tight budget to and I really found your ideas very helpful! Thanks again. : )

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