Meal Planning Anyone, Anyone, Bueller….

Ffc Tracey 004

This past week I was challenged to meal plan and prep. Sounds easy enough right, throw some meals on a calendar and voila…meal planning done! Yeah, not quite soo easy as I soon Iearned.  I neglected to take into account that my darling children would be against having tacos on Wednesday or chicken kabobs on Friday. They enjoyed the days or everybody gets a choice on what they are going to eat for dinner.

For example, Dannika wanted pasta, Nikolas wanted chicken tenders and rice and hubs and I would be left eating leftovers as I forgot to take something out for dinner. Or better yet we would end up going out to dinner or grabbing a pizza or fast food.

But I was determined to make the meal plan work. I took the time to make my shopping list very methodically for 2 weeks of meals down to the last seasoning. I wrote up my weekly meal plan on pretty paper with a pink sharpie (because who doesn't like pink), so it had to work.

We made it through the week unscathed for the most part. I had to adjust the meal plan slightly due to events that were not in my schedule (That my friend is the challenge for this week. Lucky me!!!) The kids adjusted to the meal plan and only mildly grunted, so promise there, but I think the biggest win was that my budget stayed in tacked and there were way less dishes to clean.

I did learn some things that I will take with me into this coming week.

Involve the kids in the meal plan for the week. If they have input, they will be more likely to stick to the plan and eat what is providedMake the meals reasonable. Don't plan a 4 course meal on a day when you have lacrosse practice until 7:30Prep what you can ahead of time (on the weekends, during the day if you can)Example: taco meat can be made ahead of time and put in the fridge and reheated wheneverBe flexible. It's great to have a meal plan, but there are going to be days when it is just not going to work. Someone has a big project at school that comes up, running late from work, etc. Have a couple of go to dinner options so you don't have to eat out.

I plan on continuing to meal plan and might try during the summer to make it for a month since there will not be as many activities in the evening. I really liked knowing what was for dinner and have it decided for me. Often times, we sit and ponder at lunch what is for dinner yet when the time comes we still don't know and end up making poor choices because we are starving or too tired to defrost anything to cook.

Next week I'll let you know if the kids were engaged more and how my time management exercise went. Now off to do some exercising!