In my early twenties, I needed a simple plan to keep a neat and tidy home, to have meals on the table, and have time to spare. What was I doing wrong? The answer to that question I both applied to my life and shared in my book, Total Home Makeover: A 20 Day Plan to Renew Your Space & Spirit. This is the mini version (one article per month in Molly Green's "Keeping HOME"), for you.
In the first two steps, you created daily routines and weekly routines (see www.totalhomemakeover.com if you missed it), the foundation to becoming a pro-active home manager! The morning routine (aka power hour) is by far my #1 secret to home management success, so keep up your routines as we begin Step 3: Meal Planning.
Let's Chat ... About Meal Planning!
Meal planning is important because it ensures proper nutrition for your family, and can garner your spending at the grocery store, an enemy to the home manager’s budget. Choose one day per week to meal plan. Why not Meal Plan Mondays because it’s easy to remember? Set aside about one hour for the task.
The Bottom Line. Before you begin meal planning, decide on a bottom line. A bottom line is the amount of money you choose to spend on groceries each week. By choosing a bottom line … you gain control of your grocery spending. Once you have a spending goal, your mind will work to find solutions to meet that goal. (Total Home Makeover, p. 46).
STEP 1: GATHER MATERIALS
You will need:
STEP 2: PLAN DINNERS + BLS
Plan and jot down 4-7 balanced dinners. A balanced dinner plate includes 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 whole grain, 1/4 vegetable, and 1/4 fruit or vegetable (plus, a serving of dairy).
Here are a few sample balanced dinners.
Next, plan simple BLS ideas. If you’re wondering, BLS is an abbreviation for Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack ideas such as:
Tip! For the busy cook, save time by making a double batch, and then either freeze or have left-overs.
STEP 3: WRITE A GROCERY LIST
Write down the grocery items you will need for each balanced dinner and BLS. I like to organize my grocery list into 5 categories for efficiency at the grocery store:
STEP 4: POST & BUILD RECIPE BANK
Post the weekly meal planner to your fridge or in a fridge file and simply refer to it when preparing meals. You can build a recipe bank by filing each week’s meal plan in a 3-ring binder or file recipe cards in a vintage recipe box.
Author and speaker, Renee Metzler, lives in Texas with her husband, two daughters, and pets. She holds a degree in Secondary Education, English from Bloomsburg University and mentors women with a simple system to manage, organize, and decorate at Totalhomemakeover.com.