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It has been almost 8 months since I’ve done a meal plan for our family. Eight long months. I started out strong knowing what we had on hand; making big pots of soup to last us several meals. Then, life got hectic. My ability to get a proper meal on the table each evening dissipated. We started eating in shifts – kids first having some less than stellar meals, followed by a late night dinner for my husband and I, usually of some sort of take out. We began treating ourselves with junk. At first, it was only a few times a month, but before we knew what happened, it was multiple nights per week. We had fallen into a very bad habit, and it was a struggle, it is a struggle, to get ourselves back out of it.
I had hoped with summer and the freedom we had in our schedule, things would improve. The reality … they stayed about the same. I deal better with structure in my life. Whether that is scheduling our family’s activities, or planning our meals. It is time to own up to the meal time mess, and get our act together and make it better moving forward.
So tonight, I’m sitting down with my computer, a list of what we have on hand in the pantry & freezer, and the weather forecast (let’s be honest – I’m more likely to cook if the house isn’t going to feel unbearably hot when I do it). The goal is to come up with a list of meals for Tuesday through Friday, and then grocery shop and go to the butcher on Saturday.
Breakfasts: My children have been on a cereal bar kick. Since we still have a box of cereal bars on hand, they are welcome to have them, but after this week, I’m not buying any more for a while. We also have a few partial boxes of cold cereal on hand, and a canister of oatmeal.
Lunches: Bread has been on sale at Aldi, so I have stocked the freezer so sandwiches are the way to go. The standard PB&J is always available, plus we have plenty of cheese on hand for making grilled cheese sandwiches or even tuna melts.
Dinners: Dinners are the hardest for me to plan because I have not been motivated to cook or eat well in months. I love to cook and bake, but this has been a struggle. The extreme heat we’ve had has also put a damper on my ability and desire to prepare proper meals for our family. Tonight was actually the first time in a while I felt like we had a decent dinner, and all sat down as a family. Now to keep up that momentum.
Tuesday – Chicken Tortilla Soup and/or leftover chicken tacos
Wednesday – BBQ Chicken Thighs, Homemade Mac & Cheese, Carrots & Ranch
Thursday – Pancakes & Bacon, Pineapple
Friday – Pepper Steak with Onions, Rice
With the cooler temps this week, I’m hoping to stay motivated and keep up with kitchen tasks as well as cooking in general.