I've had several people in my "real life" (as opposed to the ones here on the blog) ask me how I am able to work full time and then go home and fix dinner every night and not be stressed about it. Well, it's very easy if you plan ahead and organize!
I have been using the following plan for over 30 years now, and haven't found anything better to replace it.
It takes planning ahead.
On Thursday or Friday night I usually block off an hour to plan my meals for the next week.
I grab a few of my cookbooks and glance through them to see what sounds good. I also check out my Pinterest boards for some new recipes. I always try and make one new thing each week. Here are my boards in case you are interested lbpsews boards.
See that notebook with the Mickey Mouse figures on it? That's where I keep all the recipes I have printed online. I have two of these and I bought some tabs to organize the recipes into categories.
Makes life a lot easier!
Then I get out my menu planner
I printed these from Arsty Fartsys' website and I keep them in a notebook, that way I can look back at what I have already made, the notes that I made on a new recipe and decide if I want it again that week.
Then for each day I write down what we will be having:
and what cookbook it is in or if it's on Pinterest and the page number.
Now on to the grocery list. I have made an Excel spreadsheet with the different categories of groceries. Anal, I know, but it is very helpful!
Sorry for the fuzzy photo, but you get the idea. Look through your recipes and write down what you need on the list. Simple. This also keeps me on track at the grocery store and I don't pick up things that I "think" I need for a recipe, but really don't.
Then I go online to the grocery stores in our area and see who has the best deals on the items I need.
Oh let's not forget the coupons.
I will admit to not being the best couponer in the world. I make most things from scratch and many of the coupons are for premade items. However, I do usually have around $10.00 in coupons that I use each week.
Stick that grocery list in the back of your coupon holder and put it in your purse! This is important! I have totally left my list sitting on the counter and then have no idea what to buy. I live 20-30 minutes from the grocery store so it's not like I can just run out and grab and item if I need it.
Once I get home with my groceries, I spend an hour or so on the weekend prepping items for the following week. Like chopping a bunch of onions or slicing a couple of peppers, etc.
Each morning I check my menu and put the non perishable items out of the counter. That way when I get home I just grab the refrigerated items and start cooking. There is no wondering what I am going to have for supper, no stopping at the grocery store on the way home (which can lead to buying things you don't need) and this creates a lot more peace of mind for me.
Now you know my system, hopefully this will help if you are getting stressed out during the day about what to make for dinner. If you have any ideas too, I would love to hear them!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!