This week I'm focusing on Back-to-School Prep. Over the course of the week, I'll share my routines–old and new–for cleaning, keeping a household binder, surviving hectic mornings, and more. Let's start with a routine that's been working for me for over a year now:
If you're not doing meal planning as a way to save money, stay sane and eat healthier, now is a great time to start. How much easier will your first few weeks of school go if you take “What's for Dinner?” off your mind? I sat down and wrote out a list of meals for now through the first two weeks of school. I brainstormed all of the following:
- Meals I make all the time: chicken, tacos, etc. (mostly from my Recipes page)
- Crockpot meals for days I know I'll be home in the morning
- Meals for anticipated busy nights (Back to School night–we have two): frozen pizza, leftovers, etc.
- Nights I know we'll be eating out: we're celebrating a birthday out, BBQing with neighbors, etc.
I wrote out all the meals, but I'm flexible on the days. When I need to make a shopping list each week, I look at the list, see what's already in the pantry and figure out what I need, and shop. Last night I did the shopping for this week's plan, was in and out in 30 minutes, and spent just $40. And I'm done for the week! Here's our menu for the week:
Monday–Stroganoff-Style Chicken, whole wheat noodles, green peas
Tuesday–Broccoli Pie, Herb Bread from the bread machine
Wednesday–Homemade Pita Pizzas, salad
Thursday–Crockpot Lemon & Dill Chicken, Orzo Salad (I put peas, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil in with the orzo and chill it)
Friday–Tortellini with pesto, leftover salad, leftover bread
Saturday–Eating out at a restaurant for a birthday party
Sunday–Beef Tacos from the freezer, fixings, beans, rice
You can do this, too. Make it easy on yourself–stick with meals that you already know how to make; you can tackle new recipes in October once you're back on schedule. Plan a few frozen food meals. Use your crockpot to make the evening rush not rushed at all. If you need help or have questions, leave them in the Comments below so we can all help each other.
For more meal plans and recipes, see the huge Mr. Linky at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Have a fantastic week!