I have sort of intentionally set up our days so that we spend a significant time around our table. I like the idea of eating together as a family and I pretty jealously guard that time.
However, I was having a bit of a problem actually getting the food on the table. Because (Natasha is going to kill me for this) I HATE to cook.
No really, I've tried. I searched for that passion, I dug deep. Friends...that well is dry. I mean, we aren't going to starve, my kids are cool with burnt food and I've been blessed with a husband who actually enjoys making a good meal. Unfortunately said husband can't be home in time to make dinner every single day, and I was failing to even make burnt-to-a-crisp food.
Anyway, this whole mess culminated in my family eating chips and hot sauce as an actual meal multiple times a day for months this summer.
Enter the Seasonal Meal Planning Journal.
Natasha was kind enough to let me get my hands on this beautiful thing to see if it could save our mealtimes or if my kids where destined to wander aimlessly as freegans. (Nothing against freegans, mind you.)
So I stacked the journal right on top of my planner hoping that when Sunday rolled around I would remember to plan for more than just school and errands this week.
The first step was my favorite. (Maybe not the step that helped me the most, but by far my fave.)
You simply take inventory.
What meals do you need to plan and what stuff do you have on hand. I can't tell you how many times I have been in a tizzy trying to come up with a last minute meal only for Russ to come home and remind me that we are going somewhere.
Now you get down to the nitty-gritty. First up breakfast and lunch which Natasha suggest you keep general. For me that was easy because we eat oatmeal every day but Saturday and my kids are pretty content to eat beans most days for lunch.
Dinner was a little harder, but having the inventory was helpful!
My most helpful part though? Step four: What do you need to make ahead?
Because evidence would suggest that every single Thursday morning I will be surprised that my kids need lunch and snack. Every. Single. Week.
I know y'all, I'm a mess. Having a plan for things that needed to be prepped was a lifesaver. In fact, this week I put my sourdough starter on that section and it looks like I will finally have some good bread soon!
(See afore mentioned sourdough starter pictured above, looking for all the world like some goop in a jar.)
And in a thoughtful gesture, she made the pages perforated. The back of this page is a grocery list (you can see it a few pics up in the feed.) so you can pop this page out, take it to the store, and then stick it by the stove.
My friend Marin always jokes with me about being a Dori-fish because I can only remember what is right in front of my face (which is funny because it's true) so I love the option of having it literally eye level!