Thanks for joining me for our 4th and final week of the Momof6 Get Your Life Organized Boot Camp! This week I will be sharing some ideas that all focus around planning ahead to help you get organized for the coming week. One of the best tips I have to share- that take a tremendous load off of my mind each week is when I menu plan, school lunch plan, and plan for my trip to the grocery store.
How to Menu Plan
When you know what you plan to serve for dinner each night of the coming week, you can make sure that you have all of the ingredients that you need ahead of time. You know if you need to take something out of the freezer ahead of time to defrost, and the best part of all, is that the 5:00 hour seems a heck of a lot calmer because you are just executing a prepared plan… vs trying to think of one!
I created this video for Momof6 earlier this summer on how you can set up a menu board in your house, which makes it so simple to menu plan:
Plan for School Lunches
On Sunday nights during dinner, I get out the school lunch menu and review the week ahead with my kids, so we can figure out who wants to buy the hot lunch at school each day, and who wants to take in a lunch from home. And if they want to have a homemade lunch- we plan what it will be (at least the entree part) for each day of the week- and we record all of this on the school lunch menu.
This pre-planning only takes 5 minutes, and it allows me to make sure that I have on hand the ingredients I will need to prepare their lunches, and it also allows me to tackle lunch prep early in the morning before school each day- even if the kids are still sleeping- because I don't need to ask them what they want for lunch that day.
I like to do my grocery shopping on Monday mornings, right after I put the kids on the bus to school. The store is pretty empty during that time of day, and if I decide to use a whole stack of coupons when I am checking out, I am less likely to annoy someone behind me, because at that time there usually isn't anyone else in line! So on Sunday nights, I dedicate an hour or so to planning my grocery trip. During that time, I will grab my running grocery list, and I will first add to it ingredients that I know I will need to prepare the menus we have selected for the week, and the lunches that I will need to send in to school.
Next I will grab the sales circular for my favorite store, and make notes on my grocery list for items that I'd like to buy because they are on sale. And then I will go through any coupon inserts and cut out the coupons that I know I will use in the future, and file them in my coupon binders. Finally I will flip through my coupon binders, pulling out any coupons that I plan to use for this particular trip.
I wrote a post last May, 5 Tips on How to Grocery Shop for a Large Family, that gives a lot more details on these steps and explains the coupon binder that I use, and how to “match up” a good deal at the store.
Finding the Time to Plan
Obviously the key to all of this is finding the time (or maybe I should say making the time) to do all of this pre-planning. For me, it works best on Sunday evenings because the kids usually do not have homework, and we can do our menu and lunch planning right during our dinner time together. And then once the kids are in bed, I spend one hour on my grocery planning. Taking the time to do these three things on Sundays has made a huge difference on the rest of my week.
Ready for this week's homework?
This week I would like to for you to pick one area where planning ahead would take a load off of your week, and commit to spending time each weekend in this area to “get ahead of the game”.
Please leave a comment here today sharing where you need to plan ahead! And I will see you here on Wednesday when we will talk about kids chore charts and to-do lists!This post is linked up at Organize and Decorate Everything, Tidy Mom, and Savvy Southern Style.