May 2, 2011

A Schedule That Works? Part 3

In my LAST POST, I mentioned something about my meal planning revelation.

The beginning of my inspiration came from THIS post written by Kemi Quinn on her Vintage Homemaking site. It appears that women THOUGHT AHEAD about their meals. I'm not talking about the puny thinking ahead just to supper. No. I'm talking about thinking all the way to the next day's lunch!

In the morning, as part of the morning tasks, as much prep for the evening meal as possible was done. Boom! Want a casserole? Prepare all the way up to the point of baking and put it in the frig! Tomorrow's breakfast oatmeal needs to soak overnight (a la Nourishing Traditions)? Put it together and it's done! Oh, the freedom.

Before that revelation, supper planning (forget the next day) went something like this: OMG it's 5:30 and everything is frozen! I could flash thaw it, but I had a roast planned. I thought it would be nice to have a green bean casserole and mashed potatoes with the roast. I don't have time to peel the potatoes! That means I'll have to resort to (the sinister) Plan B: hot dogs, pasta, sauce, and carrot salad. Blech. Plan C (even more sinister): "Honey, could you pick up a pizza?"

Maybe that was just in my house.

NOW, however, supper is pretty much done in the morning, tomorrow's breakfast is planned and prepped as much as possible, lunch is usually leftovers from supper and doing all of this ahead reduces the kitchen cleanup tremendously. I'd call that a win-win situation!

Thanks, Kemi, for putting the wisdom of yesteryear in one place to help the homemakers of today!


weenie_elise said...

my husband always comments that I'm thinking 3 meals ahead... now I can give him a good reason why :)

Stephanie said...

Still working on having supper figured out by noon so I have enough time to thaw/put things together. Maybe I'll be thinking 3 days ahead by the time my kids start school :s

Packrat said...

Once upon a time, I was organized. I had menus planned for two weeks and shopped accordingly. (We had a very limited budget and had to travel at least an hour to the nearest grocery store, so it was a necessity.) Even after we moved, I kept this up for years. I used Make-a-Mix cookbooks (no gain from them - just personal experience) and branched from there. I would make double or triple of things that would freeze well. Then, I don't know what happened. I still keep a well stocked pantry and freezer, but nothing is ever thawed or planned ahead. It would be easy to blame my husband for not having a set schedule, but truly, it is my fault. I would have to rearrange my life (and it needs it), but I could do all this again to make my life less stressful (and less expensive!). We are constantly eating out or bringing home a cooked chicken or whatever.

K Quinn said...

Sniff! Aw hon you're welcome. Those women had it down. I guess it was really important to be ultra organized because you had less convenience foods and you probably had to provide three square meals a day.

I like to try and plan a week's dinners in advance. Sometimes I'm great at it other times I fail. I do best when I just pick up an already planned week and follow it but I'm using my menu planning software to keep track of what we eat most and then I'll be making menus from that. It's slow going because I'm easily distracted by a good recipe in a magazine, online, on American Test Kitchen's show. You name it.

It also always helps me to have at least to dinners to go in the freezer. Usually lasagne and meatloaf. Sometimes a soup and some kind of marinating chicken.

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