Hopefully the stormy weather and kids off school meant you got lots of time today to compile your master list of meals, right?! HAHAHA! Today I had two miserable children because they got no outside play and I think the low air pressure was getting to them too. Not the easiest parenting day!
You’ll be glad this is a really short post. There are a few steps to bringing your master list into a plan.
- Write down approximate time it takes to cook each dinner and how intense that cook period is (like risotto needs you to be there the whole time, something in the oven doesn’t need watched at all)
- Write down Monday – Sunday on a piece of paper and mark the days that you don’t have much time. For me that’s a Monday as I go out to a sewing class at 6.15 and a Thursday as I have Pilates at 6.20 (I know, that makes me sound indulgent but those are my two ‘me time’ slots in the week – that’s it!) so don’t go planning your hour long amazing recipe on the night your kids have swimming lessons!
- Decide how many weeks rotation you want to have on the go. I used to do a monthly plan new each month and some things would be standards every month maybe even every fortnight (like fajitas, sea bass and rice, chilli etc) but now I have a set 4 week plan. I don’t stick to it perfectly, but it allows me to not have to think too hard each week when it comes to grocery shopping.
- Then just piece together those three points – allocate shorter, easier dinners to the crazy teatimes, the longer ones to weekends or days you know you have time to make it! If you split your master list by protein source you can alternate it a bit so beef, chicken, veggie, beef, chicken etc. And keep going until you’ve filled your planned time period.
- Reduce the decision making where you can. Back in February we decided to start having a roast on Sundays. It has been the best thing ever. We’ve not got sick of it yet and it means every Sunday is a roast dinner, then I use the chicken carcass to make a stock which I use to make chicken soup for Monday night. Very occasionally I use the stock to make a different soup (chorizo and potato or something) but it means almost every week my Sunday and Monday dinner are decided for me. So if you can stomach the same thing once a week why not do something similar?