Our small steps for a happy homelife continues today with menu planning. Menu planning is important for those of us on a budget, and it is also important in terms of saving time, energy and for providing healthy foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
So, after our other small steps of decreasing commitments so you can actually be at home, spending time with your spouse or rejuvenating yourself, and having a well-ordered home, menu planning is right up there.
After all, nothing goes well if everyone is hungry and there is no food in the house or no food prepared, right? Small children and hunger leads to whiny, not peaceful, times!
We have talked about meal planning before on this blog, but I have a few things that have been working well for me lately that I want to share:
1. Consider having a consistent market day as part of your weekly rhythm. I like to put my market day on Thursday, so I can use Friday to be at home and get ready for the weekend.
2. It is wonderful to clean out the refrigerator and pantry the day before market day so you know what you have and what you need in accordance with your meal plan (see next point!).
3. Make a menu plan that lasts two weeks or even a month and rotate that list for a bit. Lately, I have been planning breakfast and dinner along with a general list of snacks and smoothies, and will soon be adding in a rotation for lunch. A few more pointers about menu planning:
- Do make sure that your menu planning coincides with cooking crock-pot meals on the days that you are busy outside the home, and cooking what you need the day before your day of rest or Sabbath if that is a consideration
- If you need to soaking grains ahead of time if you use grains or have other dietary needs, that is also an important consideration. If you can get in a habit in your kitchen regarding the foods you regularly make, it helps greatly.
4. Establish regular meal times and decide how you want to handle snacks. Some families make up things in the morning the children can get out at snack time fairly independently, and some families choose snacks that the parent has to make or prepare with the children. I think that is up to you!
5. Establish your before and after meal blessings. This is a lovely way to start and end meals.
6. Think about your table. What could you pick up at thrift stores that would make your table pretty? Linens, dishes, small dishes to hold certain items?
Here are a few blogs I have been enjoying lately in order to garner some new recipes:
If you have any blogs regarding food and recipes that you love to follow, please leave your links in the comment section below. And, if you have a blog where you post your meal plans, please also leave a link so other families may serve healthy, warming and nourishing food to their children. Thank you!
Small, steady, encouraging steps!