Monday, August 6, 2012

Big Changes and Meal Planning

Big changes around here for the fall.  I am starting work full time, Eleanor is going to be driving, and an exchange student is moving in with us.  We're ready for all these, but it does remind me that being organized is so important.  There's no wiggle room anymore with Wednesdays off work for catching up on meal planning and grocery shopping.

What's a gal to do?

Fall always brings a different layer of chaos with the structure it brings.  Now I have been through the high school much easier on time than club swimming.....I know a bit more on how that will work with timing although there may be a hybrid of training.  Seems like a good way to ease into this work schedule before the club swimming re-starts.  And with a driver it's going to be a different thing. 

Controlling the meal planning is probably the best bet.  The key word is controlling.  Yep, I can do that.  It seems as though fall is a good time for that planning since the harvest guides me.  There's also the opportunity for things to get out of control with produce, so staying on top of the CSA box is the first step.  My agenda is to meal plan on the weekend since that's what I usually do considering the arrival of Thursday produce.   The trick may be a mid-week grocery pick up, so my hope is to plan the week without that Sendiks stop.  Yep, I think I can do that.

While digging through recipes I will likely pull out about 25-30 ideas at a time and rotate them through the weeks as I have done that in the past and it helps to maximize more esoteric ingredients.  The cilantro can be used for a couple recipes during the week instead of just one, etc.  The crockpot will be in use this fall.  And, we are going to have another person in the house with likes and dislikes, so some will depend on her.

One of the reasons I went to part time work years ago was meal planning.  We just weren't ready to eat junk...and there are only so many hours in a day.  I'm optimistic that I can juggle it all now that Eleanor is a bit older; however, I suspect there will be a few more nights of plain pasta and of take out dinner. Just hope to minimize that since the monetary and health trade off may not be worth it for our family.  For sure we're not giving up our fitness levels and workout times, so it will be a squeeze to manage it all. Meals would be the 2nd thing to go...after (yet again) lowering my cleaning standards.

I have always been a bit envious of Elizabeth's more rigid rotation of Monday being soup night...always.  So, I may start doing and end of the week soup night. As with anything though, the key will be to adapt as necessary.  Stay along for the ride.......

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