One productivity tip that has simplified our family life is simplifying our meal planning. I have a series of “go to” meals and rotate these on a three week schedule. My Master List of meals consists of items that I can shop for easily and consistently. Currently, I generally make one larger pot/stew/soup/chilli recipe per week that can either be frozen (for another week), or be served again later in the week on our rush-evenings.
I typically plan 2 fish meals, 2 chicken meals, and one “other” meal (pork, beef, sausage, pasta, etc.) per week. I rotate sides of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, beans and peas, and most often serve rice, pasta or potato sides as well. If I make a baked meal, I always throw in a half-dozen potatoes for use later in the week (as cottage fried, roasted potatoes, potato salad, or quick warm ups later in the week).
I keep easy meals like tacos, turkey burgers, breakfast-for-dinner, and pizza in my pocket for those days that we are in a real rush – or when we have to break from our plan.
I chart the meals by day on our white board that includes the kids scheduled after school activities and events, and their chores. We take a few minutes on Sunday evenings to plan and review what’s coming up, chart it on the board and make sure we are all aware of what we’re doing. It makes the week go so much more smoothly!
How do you simplify your meal planning? Please share your wisdom, tips and tricks in the comment box below for others!