Monday, April 13, 2009

If you don't have a plan, then you plan to FAIL!

I know you want to read this post now...maybe I will get 24 really heated and controversial can only wish. Anyways, I have this constant battle of being uber organized or S.O.L. around my household. But, I have finally found some semblance of balance in some things and I will share with you those few.

First of all, I have started back to planning my meals a month in advance. Crazy right?! Not really! I do it once a month and we don't hardly repeat meals unless they are requested favorites. I use a revolving magnetic calendar that goes on the front of the fridge. Joshua loves this because he alwasy know what to look forward to for dinner. Some meals have leftovers and that is great for us because Joshua is our leftover lover(not sure what that says about me though!) We have lots of variety and all I have to do is make out my list for my weekly shopping trip to Crest. There are lots of bonuses to planning your meals in advance:

1. You save know what you need, instead of aimless grabbing in hopes to throw something together.

2. You can eat more healthy. When you know what you are going to be eating, it is harder to cheat yourself when you are staying focused on your goals.

3. You can plan out to eat days so that you can be flexible. Wednesday is our flex-day. We can either eat something simple like Tuna salad, Chicken salad, or go to Jason's Deli.

4. You can plan your cheat days. Yes, Pizza, ice cream, candy...whatever you crave...allow yourself a day that you can have some Saturated Fats...I call those "Saturday Fats" If you limit your saturated fats, like only have them on Saturday(not that it is limited to only Saturdays), then you will have a healthier heart without feeling like you can't have your favorite stuff.

5. It allows you to try new recipes without getting overwhelmed. I like to try at least one new thing a month. If you find a new recipe that calls for something you wouldn't normally by like Sesame oil or Red wine Vinegar. Planning ahead allow you to figure out how you can fit it into your budget without cutting other necesary items.

6. You can enjoy having company over. Sometimes I get my schedule so full that I don't take time to have people over for dinner. So I try to look at my schedule and see when would be a good time to invite someone new from church or just an old friend that I haven't caught up with in a while. It makes the task more enjoyable.

7. You can get your kids involved. Once they can read, they can see what is on the menu, but if they can't read then you can tell them and let them help pick out ingredients. I like to tell my kids what certain items are so they will know how to navigate the fresh foods when they are older. It is never too early to start good habits with the kids. I think it starts with allowing them to help out some. You'ver heard the saying "Get in the groove." Well, my take on that is what kind of grooves are your kids making and seeing you make. Hopefully, good ones that will last them a life time!

8. You have a list. Stick to the list. If you stick to the list, then it will be easier to say no to the oreos and the kid's begging for chips and such. I am not such a hard nose all the time though. If I don't plan on junk for the kid's one week, I will tell them next week we can pick something and put it on the list.

9. If you don't have time to make a list or forget your list like I do ALL the time. You will get into a "groove" that you know some fall back recipes to get you by.

10. Dinner time will be less stressful and you may even have time to make a dessert...afterall, STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERT!

Okay, so that was only one thing that had a lot of content...until next time...


kj said...

I love it!!!!!

I really, really need to do this!

The McDowells said...

Great tips!

I do a weekly menu, every Sunday night I sit at the computer and do it for the week and go to the grocery store on Monday. I use to do two weeks. I should really stretch it out back to two weeks to a month, so I only have to plan it once or twice a month.

Nicole said...

I need to do it to but I am a horrible cook! YOu need to post an example menu so we can see some of the things you cook!

Natalie Hudkins said...

Good ideas Elizabeth! I think it's great to get your kids involved- I think mine are much better eaters because they "help" me make things!

Kayla said...

I'm terrible at cooking as well. I hate it. I stick to kashi pizza, organic mac n cheese, speghetti with whole grain noodles, grilled italian chicken (considered gormet!!!), mandarine oragnes, strawberries, bananas, asperagus (family fav), frozen microwaveable veggies. Thats pretty much it. Almost daily!!! So how are we doin?!

Gena said...

These are great tips Elizabeth. I made parmesan chicken and roasted potatoes tonight and thought of you. Don't know why really..... :)

Kristy said...

I do a weekly menu. I have a hard time not repeating at least 1 or 2 things from week to week. I think you should post some of your menu items. I am making your new green bean recipe tonight. I am excited to try it.