It's 4:00PM and your people are hungry and cranky. You are to for that matter. When is the last time I ate something? And does a handful of chocolate chips count?
Next to laundry, feeding my people is a HUGE task. We have to plan meals, shop for meals, make sure the meals fit the budget, put the food in the cart, then load said food in our car. If we are really lucky, we get to cary all this mess into the house ourselves! We try to make it all fit in our ridiculously small pantries and then drag it all our 3 times a day for 7 days in a row to feed the masses. It's work friends.
Here are 4 ways I have tried to make all the crazy a little more manageable at our house:
Work within your strengths. Some people love to grocery shop and some people love budgeting. Some people love cooking and others love doing dishes. What is your strength when it comes to food prep at your house? What do you dread? Pay attention to what exhausts you and what energizes you. I try to figure out how to ask for help in the areas I dread. Work towards operating in your strengths as much as possible. Give yourself grace and don't compare yourself to others. Work with what you've got.
Buy a meal plan. One thing I know about myself is that I HATE to meal plan. If you ask me what side goes with a certain main dish, my palms start to sweat. It is just not my thing. For about 8 years I have been an eMeals member. Each wedneday I get a new meal plan for the week. Seven dinners with sides and a full grocery list that is setup just like my local Aldi store. For a few extra bucks a month I also get a lunch meal plan too. Bliss I tell ya'! Emeals has plans to go with just about every store and diet. Check it out!
Enlist help. At my house, if you eat the food then you can help prepare it (or clean up after it). Our Emeals plan is in an app so Brad can start dinner too. My older kids are learning to scramble eggs, make pancakes, and throw together a lunch or two. Anyone can load or unload the dishwasher! The point is that I can get in a mode of doing everything and then getting wiped out! Look for things to give away.
Make a memory out of it. The year my youngest was born, my husband starting coaching high school football. On Friday nights, I found myself alone feeding 3 small children. To make things easier I declared Friday night "PIZZA and a MOVIE night!" Six years later, it is still a thing. My kids look forward to it and it is a great way to end our week together. Some weeks we make our pizzas and other times we carry out. Do you have a night in your week that is crazy? Make that your pizza night or go out to eat at your favorite place! Give yourself a break.
What are ways you make meal prep easier?