Getting Organized Once Again

For me, summer is a time to let go, relax, let the house get messy, and have tons of fun with the family. That's a very easy routine to slide into once school's over.  

The hard part, for me anyway, is adding structure back into my life when school starts up again.  One thing I struggle with is meal planning and making meals.  

I have found that by spending a few hours on the weekend making a menu, shopping, and prepping meals - the week's meals seem to be a bit easier to manage.  I'm not saying I always stay on track and follow my plan.  Sometimes I just say screw it and we head off to Subway or A-1 Diner or we eat cereal.  

I found this dry erase sticker at Staples a few week back - it's fabulous!  It's really helping me to stay on track for the week.  

Sometimes I write "future" menu ideas in the corner - so I can remember them for the next week.  If I don't write it down, I am sure to forget!  

Another thing I like to do is to thaw out one of my meat birds (remember we raised 25 this summer!) - and then put it in the crock pot for a few hours.  This opens up the dinner possibilities for the week - chicken and rice, chicken sandwiches, bbq chicken, tacos, chili........ I could go on and on.   And I know that my family is eating something healthy.  

I also really enjoy putting together my lunches for the week on Sunday - that way all I have to do is grab and go in the morning.  Thankfully Tucker likes to eat school lunches (which really are pretty good at his school) - so I don't have that prep to do!

Actually, I've started doing that with my breakfasts too!  

It's so easy, good for me, and delicious.  Who can argue with that?  Not me!  

What helpful hints do you have to get you through the week with meals?  


  1. I always put my oatmeal together the night before and sometimes my lunches. I used to be a lot better about planning out meals for the week. Sort of got out of the habit.

  2. Menu planning really helps in our household too! It takes the "What do you want for dinner?" round & round out of the equation. :)

  3. What great ideas, Jen! I like to make lists too, and I have a steno notebook where I start a new page each month and write down all the bills that need paying, appointments, etc.

    I have just started making salads in jars for lunches... and I agree, menu planning is so important. I think it is just great that you are so organized... love it!

  4. Ahhh you just inspired me! I used to be so good at menu planning, but I've really let it slide. Love that weekly planner you got from Staples, I wonder if they still have them.
    One little tip: I really get sick of oatmeal and cereal for breakfast, but I don't have time to make eggs in the morning. So the night before I make little individual omlets or quiches in muffin tins in the oven. They are super easy to make. I found one of the recipes on Pinterest, but they are really easy to improvise. This has helped spice up breakfast.

  5. I've really fallen off the good eating/meal planning wagon and I am not happy about it. I need to take a lot of these ideas and kick myself back into gear so that I can chisel a few of these lazy lbs off. Can you tell me a bit more about what is in your lunch pictures? Hard to tell what everything is. When the kids are in school, I have a lot more freedom on what I eat (though I get in a bad habit of not eating lunch and working through and then I eat awful at dinner because I am starving). I need some ideas for eating more produce for sure. I'm sure planning and pre-preparing things would help a lot. In the past (when I worked 40 min from home 8-5), I would cook 4-5 lbs of ground meat (venison/beef) and then use it like you do your chicken - tacos, chili, spaghetti, etc. All sped up by having the meat ready to go. Need to stop waiting until 5 o'clock to figure out dinner! Thanks for the reminders!

  6. I spend Sunday prepping my lunches for the week and meal planning. It takes some time but in the end it is worth it because I have all that time during the week! When I get home from the grocery store I cut up and prep veggies and fruit too so I can quickly throw them together for snacks or a meal!

  7. Great job! I am having a hard time getting back into the meal planning and preparing now that school is back in session. I got so used to grabbing easy stuff during summer, so it's time for me to get back on track:)

  8. WELL! My menu was my blog. And then I started slacking and subsequently I know my slacking as affected meals for your family so for that I apologize :-P I am struggling too because with homeschooling, Mady coming, all our activities plus church and what not, its hard! I am actually sitting down, finally, to make my menu and my grocery list because Thursday my butt is going to the grocery store!

  9. I totally do a Sunday Set up! I go grocery shopping then make a big lunch and dinner that day that are meant to be left overs for lunches and quick dinners during the week. Then I make one more dinner during the week that makes more leftovers and we usually have a scrounge night of sandwiches or something else similar and easy. My husband this school year has agreed to cook dinner once a week too which will be such a great help!

  10. I'm just starting to get organized and back into a solid routine again. I had to buy lunches a few times last week, not something I like to do since it is so expensive at the college.

    I'm glad you are getting back on track :)

  11. We have tried meal planning but it just isn't possible for the two of us. We both eat different things for breakfast and Allan packs his lunch each day. If it's an evening where Allan works out after work he won't eat until 7 or later and I prefer to eat by 5:30 or 6:00. We eat dinner together a few nights a week and usually go to our favorite Mexican place once on the weekends. Sorry, that was really wordy!


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