In lieu of a recipe today, I thought it might be nice for us to share some tips. Helpful, organizational tips for the kitchen. For those who know me, I think you know I like to be organized. Not necessarily in all aspects of my life (please don't look in my storage closet - or any of my closets for that matter!), but definitely when it comes to my food. I like my cupboards organized, the shelves of my fridge kept in order and a plan in place when it comes to feeding my family. So, like many other people do, I began meal planning a few years ago, and what a change it made to both what and how we ate.
I try to dedicate Sunday mornings to the meal planning for the week. I sit down with a warm cup of tea (which I think always makes any task far more enjoyable), some cookbooks I've chosen for the week, a pad of paper and a pen. I make a note of special things that may be going on during the week - for example, both boys may have soccer at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, or my husband won't be home for dinner on Thursday - and then I plan the meals. I ask for input from everyone and try to get all of my boys to suggest a meal that they would like to eat. I supplement their suggestions with what I might be able to find at the Farmer's market and we're all set with a food list for the week.
I do the same thing with lunches as well. I find nothing more frustrating than to face the open fridge door and wonder "What should I make for lunch?". So, I plan five lunch meals for the week and serve them to my boys, whether they come home or stay at school for lunch. If I make a chili for dinner I make enough for eight, instead of four, and everyone takes the leftovers for lunch the next day. I also ask the boys what they might enjoying having for the week and we put together five meals. I add in fruit/veggies, granola bars or the odd cookie and we're all set for the week.
Once we became immersed in meal planning I noticed that we wasted far less food then we had before, and we spent less on our weekly food bill, which is never a bad thing. So I ask you...do you meal plan? How do you do it? I would love to hear your suggestions for I think I could find ways to be even more organized in the kitchen - And if you have any meal suggestions that begin with the letter "M" please leave them for me as well.
Enjoy the beautiful, warm sunny day, friends!