My sister-in-law Katie has been implementing a small rebellion successfully and consistently for years. She simply refuses to believe that weeknights have to be stressful. She works outside of the home full-time and is in charge of the cooking for her household. Her weekly rebellion is something simple that helps her de-stress her day-to-day considerably, so that she has more time for the fun stuff in life — like playing her ukelele and watching her favorite movie, The Little Mermaid.
For the last five years, Katie has been pre-planning the weekly meals. Sounds simple, but so many people don’t do it. The benefits are remarkable. We took her lead about two years and have been thrilled with the results. On Saturday or Sunday, Jason will put together a list of the meals for the week, along with a coordinating grocery list. Then on Monday afternoon, he and Lucy will go and get all of the goodies for the week. Let me tell you, this simple strategy makes life so much easier.
By putting a little work in on the front end of the planning…
- you save money on unnecessary and unused groceries (We waste very little food because almost everything we buy gets eaten that same week.)
- you save time in the grocery store since your list is specific. (Two bonus tips: 1. Group items on list by sections of the store. 2. Try to shop on the same day each week.)
- you are able to implement new recipes on a regular basis, since you know you’ll have all of the ingredients in the house to give it a try (New recipes help you spice things up and prevent ruts!)
- you eliminate the weeknight stress of having to figure out what to eat. (You know you’ve been there!)
- you proactively eat healthier, avoiding the traps of eating fast and easy when time is limited and you’re tired at the end of the day (Mickey D’s drive-through at 6pm, anyone?)
- you have the time to invite family members to provide input on what they’d also like to have (I love it when Jason asks, “What are you hungry for this week?”)
- you save money by having the time to look through coupons and grocery store ads to see what’s on sale and to incorporate the ingredients into the weekly meals.
- you enjoy the art of cooking by allowing yourself the opportunity to try new things and not feel rushed in the process (Relaxed cooking? What a concept!)
- you make the hungry mouths in your household HAPPY!!
If you’ve adopted a similar strategy in your household, feel free to share any extra tips you might have!
If not, join Katie by rebelling against the rules that say you have to rush through your weeknights, stressed and hurried. Enjoy the peace of a planned week and the yummies that accompany this simple strategy!
Becky Mochaface says
Sometimes I’ll also cook ahead for the week on Sundays meals that taste good reheated and freeze it until the night we’ll eat it:
– taco meat for taco night
Hali Chambers says
I agree that meals don’t have to be stressful! I take a couple hours on Sunday and clean & chop all the veggies. Then they’re ready for stir fry, soups, salads, etc. I also cook in bulk and freeze containers. :-) Hali
Lisa Braithwaite says
I really try to do this. I love cooking and I love planning and shopping for the menus. But inevitably, something prevents me from following through.
Tuesday I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking — let’s get burritos. Thursday, suddenly the weather changes and it’s too hot to cook what I had planned — how about brekkie dinner (always an easy favorite)?
I may cook three out of the five or six meals I’ve planned, in a good week. But I guess I’m getting it right at least some of the time!
Anyone do the same thing but with their clothes? I mean, planning on the weekend what you’ll wear during the week? I work full-time and have 4 preschool age kids. I started doing this when I came back from maternity leave after the last kid. It’s been a huge sanity saver! No more doing laundry at midnight for something to wear the next day, or picking clothes out of the hamper that are sort-of clean, or constantly wearing the same 3-4 pairs of pants because they’re so easy to throw on at the last minute…