Happy hump day ladies and gentlemen! Is it the weekend yet? Been a rough week and it's only Wednesday. But the big thing that gets me through the day, knowing that in a few short hours I get to see my boy! I get to wash away any stresses. Even if he doesn't notice I'm there to pick him up, just seeing him playing and happy turns my day around!
I was getting frustrated in the Spring at the end of the day when it was time to put dinner on the table. Sam was in a very clingy stage where all he wanted was to be held after we got home. Being that Ryan would usually be home later, this made it impossible to have dinner on the table. Some nights, we had cereal for supper.
It has gotten better though. Sam is happy to "help" me cook with his own bowl and spatula. It has taken A LONG time for me to perfect the after work chaos. Remember how I was super particular about planning my meals pre-Sam days? It has only gotten worse!
There are a lot of reasons why I am avid meal planner but here are the things that are at the top of my list!
1. Stress reliever
While some people may think trying to pre-plan the meals is more stressful, I find not having a plan worse. I would be having panic attacks if I had to figure out what was for supper at 5 pm.
2. Time Saver
There is about 2 hours between the time we get home and the time Sam goes down to bed. I want to spend as much of that time soaking up time with my boys. I always know what is for supper for the week and usually cook/prepare the meal the night before or morning of. That way all I have to do is stick it in the oven to re-heat.
3. Money Saver
There is nothing that I love more then saving a little money! When planning a menu, I look at similar foods. For example, for one week on say Sunday, we will have a ham with scalloped potatoes. I know that we always have left over ham so for a meal that same week, I'll make Ham and Cheese sliders. 1 thing of meat, 2 meals! It's a huge money saver! Extra bonus, no food waste!
There is no doubt that when you are in a crunch for something for supper, you turn to junk a lot of the time! Either in the form of fast food or processed food. It's easy, I get it. And occasionally we indulge in some quick meals as well. Do I take some cooking shortcuts? You bet! But I know that for the most part I know where our food is coming from and how it was made. I know that things have been properly cleaned and cooked.
Have you ever gone somewhere on vacation and started to crave some home cooked food? I have! There is just something so much more tasty about a dish that you've perfected to your taste buds with fresh ingredients. Tasting as you go so that it's just right. Serving it right from the stove and to your plate!
Really, the biggest reason why I meal plan...for my family and for all the reasons above. When there is no meal time stress, I am a happier and more attentive Mommy. It's part of the balance I need to be a successful working Mom.
What does your meal plans look like?