Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Working Mom and Meal Planning

I'm a full time working mother, and wife. Meal planning has become a weekly task that I need to do. Why? It takes so much stress out of my life. When I don't have a plan, I feel very stressed and I won't accept that. I grocery shop every two weeks, and meal plan every week. I was writing down a plan for a meal picked out for each day, but I didn't feel like that was working for us. Some days I have more time than others. I tend to pick a few crockpot meals, a few quick 30 min meals and a few meals that take longer to prep and cook. I can do those on the weekend. In my planner I write down all the meals I have planned for that week, and I can switch out whichever day I decide to cook them on.

We grocery shop every 2 weeks, because it's hard to shop with a toddler who doesn't want to sit in the cart. After I finish my grocery shop, I write down a list of meats and meal ideas for two weeks and then I split that up between my weeks. I keep a written inventory of my meats and other meal ideas I have in my freezer/pantry. This list stays in my planner, and helps me know what we have. This gives me flexibility and gives me a sense of control.

I do my dinner prep once Caleb goes to bed, and if for whatever reason that takes longer than usual, I have a few meals that I can cook within 30 mins when I get home from work. I don't have much time when I get home, because Caleb has an early bedtime and we all need time to unwind and have family time before he goes to bed.

I also find the app "Out of Milk" really helpful when meal planning and writing out my grocery list. I can put the items and what they would cost into the app and it calculates it for me. This keeps us in check and allows us to stay on budget. I also like the Flipp app, because I can check all my flyers on my tablet/phone and start planning my grocery list.

I have master lists in my planner of Chicken, Pork, Pasta, Non Meat meals. So I easily go through the lists and pick out meal ideas. Sometime I know I have chicken, but don't know what to do with it. These meal ideas really help me remember different meals. When we try a meal idea, and like it, I'll put it on the list so I don't forget about it.

Do you meal plan? Is it something you would like to try?

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