Get Organized: Plan a Menu.

Blackberries, 2012.

What are you making for dinner tonight? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the answer to this question everyday of the week? I have found that the most difficult obstacle of getting home-made dinner on the table is the first step: figuring out what to make. There are multiple reasons that taking 20-30 minutes out of your day, one day a week, to plan a menu will equate to peace over this issue all week-long.

1.Have answers—when your kids or spouse ask: What’s for dinner? You’ll be able to tell them. Even though this is a minor reason to plan a menu, it makes a big difference in the overall organization of the day. Dinner might be the only time you sit down together as a family. If you are able to respond to this question with: “Lasagna with Green Salad,” instead of “I don’t know.” It demonstrates that you: 1) have the answers and 2) are looking forward to spending this precious time with them.

Mother’s Day 2012.

2.Ingredient Security—This is major for two reasons: 1) ease of cooking—suppose you are all geared up to make a beautiful dinner of Post Roast with Rosemary Purple potatoes and Red Grapes. You begin by browning the meat and plucking the grapes, then twenty minutes in, you remember that you forgot some key ingredients. You either have to: make do without, stop what you are doing to run to the store, or ask someone else to go to the store. This ruins ease and flow of cooking and is totally inconvenient, which brings me to the second reason this point is so important: 2) Reduced grocery store trips. Going to the grocery store takes a lot of time. By limiting trips to just one day a week, you’ll be making time for other, more important, tasks in the day ultimately increasing productivity.

Grandpa’s Winter Garden, 2012.

3.Meal Balance—By sitting down and putting all meals on paper. You are able to visually see what your family is getting, and on what frequency. This may limit red meat or white carbohydrate consumption considerably because you will be more aware of how many times a week you serve certain meals. Ie: you are less likely to plan multiple high fat meals in a row: “Monday: Steak and Potatoes, Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Wednesday: Hamburgers,” These meals might be eaten though, if there is not a visual Que of: “Whoa! Are we really eating beef four times a week?”

4.Variety of Recipes—As you become increasingly aware of what you serve every night, you may be inspired to try new recipes to keep things fresh. If there is no meal plan involved it is easy to stick to the same old meals because they are easy to make when the “what do I make for dinner?” Question arises. Get online research recipes, follow great food blogs, get inspired! Make beautiful meals for you and your family.

Hope you week is totally “zen.”


Grey and Brianna


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