Planning the weekly menu is a chore that I’ve been doing each week for a very long time now. I say chore, but to be honest, I really enjoy it. It’s really important to me to try and stay organised.
Like many, I’m a working Mum. I work really long hours, sometimes as many as 16hrs a day. Thankfully my studio is at the side of the house, so I can flip between work, mum & wife quite easily, but it’s a constant balancing act. Trying to keep everyone happy and in order. I often feel like I should be wearing some kind of ‘Super Woman’ cape, after all, that roles seems to be expected of me most of the time.
Organisation is the keyword here. To try and make it all work, I have to be organised.
Meals have always been important to me. I’ve always given my kids healthy food. I fed them myself for their first 2 years and everything they ate was organic and completely homemade as babies. To the point of taking Hollie to the US when she was 10 months old and buying a couple of organic jars for ease and she turned her nose up at them. It was a long flight with boob, breadstix and raisins, but thankfully she was a good baby.
I started up my own business ‘Funky Fairies‘ when my youngest was just 2yrs. It took off straight away, so that’s when my meal planning kicked in. I usually sit on a Sunday with my weekly diary/planner and write up the menu to suit what activities and plans we have that day. So for example if we were to be out all day, I would possible plan a meal that can be thrown in the crock pot at breakfast and then dished up when we got it later. Nothing worse than getting home at the end of the day with tired and hungry kids and having to think what to cook.
I also have a fussy eater in the house so can balance meals that he will love with meals that will be challenging. I don’t think I could stand to have 3 challenging days in a row and I still refuse to give in to his picky eating. We are slowly getting there.
I find that by writing out a menu it helps to provide my family with a good balanced diet. I can see ahead what and when we are eating and it saves us money too. We tend to do a weekly shop and will generally buy what’s on the list for those meals. So we don’t have huge amounts of waste.
This system really works for me. I remember a few years ago. I was working 7 days a week from 5am-11pm, stopping for school runs etc in between and I would always stop at 3pm to collect the kids and that time would then be with them until they went to bed at 7pm when I would start work again. It was like that every day when they were little. The playground talk would drive me potty as other Mums just saw me as a ‘stay at home Mum’ with a hobby. To this day I still cringe when I get asked ”Are you still making your cards???” . One Mum when we were talking about food shopping and meals said that she always struggled with time. She would go to Waitrose for her groceries every day after the school run at 4pm and have to think about what to cook. Said she hated it and spent so much money every week. I explained my method of writing the menu on a Sunday and doing one shop. Her excuse was, she didn’t have the time like me to do that. This was a Mum that worked Mon-Fri 10am-2pm school term only. I personally think my way makes a lot more sense, saves time and money and a whole load of my sanity too. I could not be doing with that stress every day. Plus when they were little I never had to drag them grocery shopping after school and could enjoy that time before dinner with them instead.
So there you have it. The reasoning behind my weekly menu and why it works so well for me. It’s chicken curry tonight : )
ps… in case you were wondering where I get my cute planner inserts…take a peek here.