Friday, November 5, 2010

Looking For More Time in Your Week?

(*this blog subject  is different from the rest of my blogs.... this has been something on my mind to share for a while.  I am sure you have tips as well and I would love for you to share)

Organizing time seems to be a stumbling block for many people. One area that has a tendency to take to much time during the week is grocery shopping and cooking meals.  For years now, I have organized and planned my grocery shopping and menu for the week.  Whenever I mention this, most say they would like to do this, but they don’t know how to start, or they lack the motivation needed.  I hope that I will encourage you today.

Here are some tips that can lead you towards a more organized week in regards to weekly grocery shopping and menu planning:

Pick a day and time frame during the week that you can consistently sit down for fifteen minutes to prepare for your week.

To begin, you will need recipes, a magnetic pad or paper, a grocery list, a pen, and any coupons you have, Take a glance at your calendar to make sure you know the days you need to start dinner earlier, use your crock pot, or plan for take out.

Next, take several of your favorite cook books and begin browsing through your options.  If you have recipes that you have printed out or cut from magazines, you can place them in a folder or binder so you have access to them as well.

After you have settled in with your recipes, get your grocery list. Many word document programs have a grocery list included in their files that you can print out and usually customize to your preferences.  Most grocery stores have grocery lists available, customized to their specific store lay out on their web site.  If you are unable to locate one of these, then use a blank piece of paper and create your own.

Next, write the days of the week on the magnetic note pad. You can place this on your refrigerator so that you and everyone else in the home know “what’s for dinner tonight.”

When I find a recipe, I want to make; I write the recipe name, note which book it came from, as well as the page number I.e. Monday:  White Chili (Cooking with Smitty’s Mom, pg 149) and salad.

Next, scan the cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer to see if you already have certain items on hand and then check off (or write) on the grocery list what is needed for that recipe.

You can be flexible on your days and choices….if it’s Tuesday and you planned for Salmon but want to make spaghetti that you planned for Thursday, simply swap them out.  The main point is to make sure you have all of the necessary ingredients for each meal so you are not going to the grocery store several times in your week.

Once the menu is planned look over the grocery list and get your coupons. Place the ones you can use in an envelope. Then add a check mark next to the item on the list so you can remember to look for the specific brand or amount to purchase in order to redeem the coupon.

While it may take time to get organized, you will be using your time, finances, and energy much more efficiently when you chose to become organized in your time management.. An additional benefit to being more organized with weekly planning and grocery shopping is that your family will be able to sit around the table and eat together more often. And you will have the added bonus of not being stressed and tired. 

Proverbs 31:27  She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness

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