It’s summer time. Kids are out of school, and routines are long gone. Days are filled with spontaneous fun (and a few unanticipated troubles!) I find summer to be the most difficult time of year for the grocery budget. However, last year while we were living in the 330 sq. ft rental (ah, that’s a story for another day), I hit upon a system that is still serving us well. So without further ado, I humbly introduce you to the first in my new series…
The first simple solution is have something planned for supper (or dinner, or whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods). I picked 7 meals that my family enjoys (easy to prep and frugal), and assigned them each a day of the week. Our family’s current summer list looks like this:
- Sunday – roasted chicken and vegetables
- Monday – mushroom swiss burgers
- Tuesday – tacos (Taco Tuesday for you Lego Movie fans)
- Wednesday – chicken casserole
- Thursday – grilled chicken salad
- Friday – pork steaks
- Saturday – homemade pizza
Then, if we wanted a little variety, we could substitute a meal out anytime or cook a variation of the same meal (instead of tacos tonight, let’s go crazy and have taco dip – yeah, we’re party animals around here). Sometimes I’ll find a great deal on some other cut of meat at the grocery store and change it up mid-shopping trip. But I always make sure I have the ingredients for these 7 meals on hand. Then, every morning after breakfast, I look at my list, pull out my meat to defrost and do any other meal prep, and finish cleanup for both dinner and breakfast at the same time. Do you KNOW how wonderful it is for me to go through the rest of my day when the big question of supper has already been settled?!
So let’s recap these (not complicated) steps:
- Pick 7 family favorite meals
- Assign them a day of the week
- Make sure you always have the ingredients on hand for these meals
- Meal prep dinner right after breakfast and clean up the mess.
- Go about your day in PEACE, with a feeling of confidence and accomplishment.
(Remember, this series is called SIMPLE SOLUTIONS, not Pinterest Worthy Creations to Inspire Awe and Wonder in Your Family and Friends. That’s what you get to do when your brain is no longer wondering, What in the world are we going to eat tonight?)