When I was a kid, my mom used to drive to the supermarket every afternoon and “wait for g-d to talk to her” about what to serve for dinner that night. Continuing her tradition, I would typically panic each evening around 4 p.m. over what to serve for dinner. It never occurred to me that there was a better way.
Luckily, my super organized friend Andrea Dalhman was kind enough to share her amazing secrets. She plans and as a result, saves time and money. I know, what a concept, but it works. Every Sunday night, I now clean out the fridge and take stock of what we have, then I make a menu plan (I like this one because after you write down the menu item, you can write your grocery list right next to it)
. I’ve taken to letting the kids help pick the meals as well, so they eat them. But the best part is that I can plan to include a vegetable so that I actually use them (as opposed to forgetting about them until they rot).
Even better, Andrea shared some awesome make your own frozen food ideas. Basically you can divide up the chicken into portion size bags, make your own marinades (without sugar and MSG, how exciting) and freeze them – to later throw them in a crock pot to cook. I know this probably sounds obvious to most of you, but to me it was revolutionary. It took me less than 5 seconds to throw dinner in the crock pot and now I have one less thing to worry about tonight – so nice.
With the new year, I’m keen on making my life easier. If any of you have other tricks you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear them. Meal planning has changed my life. Always on the look out for more time/money saving ideas!