My days are busy! and I mean busy! I have five kids I'm homeschooling. Two in High School, one in middle school and two in Elementary. I go from child to child to child teaching, mentoring, helping, playing, re-teaching etc...all day every day. I also have kids in lessons, clubs and actually do have some interests of my own. This is my choice and I love it! But...I've come to realize a few things about the all important subject of Food. My children need to eat. You would think that would be a given, but on busy days I often forget about food because I don't have time. They don't forget though. Also, when my kids don't eat they get grumpy, tired, and lose the ability and desire to work/think. If I stop what I'm doing, which always has something to do with the kids, to go make food, then the kids stop what they are doing. And then they have to stop what they are doing to actually eat. It's not a win-win situation for our days. But my kids still need to eat. I haven't been organized enough to tell an older child to 'go make lunch.' They always get frustrated at that if they want to make something more than peanut butter sandwiches. I realized I needed to make a PLAN.
I follow a blog 'Once a Month Mom.' The premise is that you make a plan for the month: breakfasts, lunches and dinners and complete all of the cooking over one or two days at the beginning of the month. Then, when you are hungry there is a plan and food already prepared. Just re-heat. OaMM provides 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 15 dinners. I decided I needed to do this but on a bigger scale. So, this past week I've taken the time to make our own menu utilizing food that I know my kids love. I've planned breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner for every day but Saturday. It's been quite the job. My kids have been intrigued and even excited about this. I shopped all morning and afternoon for a months supply of grocery items-(I even made a grocery list of exact amounts so I wouldn't waste budget)
On a budget note: I realized after completing shopping that this plan will potentially save us over $400 a month on groceries. I should only need to shop for milk and fresh vegies and fruit every week.
Tonight, we began assembling meals-enough for 8 people. Thanks hubby for helping. We made 12 Egg McMuffins, 32 Mummy Dogs, 16 Broccoli/Ham Twice Baked Potatoes, 2 meals of Cranberry Chicken, 2 meals Greek Inspired Chicken, 4 meals Honey Teriyaki Chicken, 1 meal Ham Fried Rice, 2 meals Ranch Parmesan Chicken. We also cooked up enough chicken for chicken salad, BBQ Chicken Pizza, Chicken Crescent Rolls. Now all of the dishes are NOT chicken based but I had purchased a 40 lb box of chicken breast and had to take care of it right away so I didnt' need to figure out a way to store it. Tomorrow, pancakes, muffins, fruit smoothies, mac and cheese, pizzas, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches, breakfast cookies, granola bars and yogurt parfaits will all be made. The kids are helping a ton. Lilly is helping with breakfasts, Kylie with Lunches and Paige with dinners. Steve has been washing dishes like crazy to keep me stocked with pans, knives, measuring cups and spoons and clean cutting boards.
I'm really curious about this experiment. I believe it's going to be extremely beneficial. Something else I know about myself. I love to cook...but only on about 6 days of the month. I'm just to busy, tired or distracted to stop what I'm doing to cook every day. This plan should solve that.
If you'd like my plans, menus or budget, let me know. I'm happy to share.
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