While I was not completely lazy during my time not blogging, there were a few things that were running away from me. You know, the normal things like laundry, cleaning, dinner, that kind of stuff. Probably one of the funniest things is that while I haven't been blogging much, I have been on the computer a lot. Probably a lot more than I really should have been, given the number of things on my to-do list.
So the last couple of weeks or so I've had this feeling of being completely unorganized and it's very unsettling for me. I can't stand it when I have to search through piles of clean clothes to find an outfit to wear because I didn't make myself just fold the laundry as it was removed from, the dryer.
There's also the fact that we never knew what was for dinner until about 20 minutes before we should be eating. Some nights the "What's for dinner?" discussion would actually make us not even want to eat. Usually it wasn't the discussion itself, it was the lack of either one of us actually making a choice in what we'd like to have.
The dinner problem seems to just compound the other issue of our budget lately. We've both been really bad about not discussing the budget at all. The paychecks come in, he pays the bills, I have my allotment into my grocery account and that's it. I was spending most of the grocery budget on eating out. Most times we would have to use some of the money in the regular account because the grocery money was either gone or getting close to gone.
Last week I made a menu for a month. Nothing fancy, just meals we like and haven't had lately. Some nights are easy like hamburgers, grilled cheese, steaks, things like that. Most times if I have a larger meal that takes more work I schedule the next day as leftovers. Seth will eat leftovers 2 times at the most, and usually only if it's lunch and dinner the next day. I tried to keep that in mind while I was making the schedule.
Even though most mornings the kids can eat breakfast at daycare, a lot of times we are running late, so I just went ahead and planned breakfast as well. After I started following the menu I realized that if I get up and have breakfast ready before I wake the kids up, they eat right away and the morning goes so much smoother than usual. Go figure.
It took me about 3 hours to actually come up with the schedule. I also made a list of things I knew I had to buy. I pretty much knew what we have on hand (which was getting pretty close to nothing). Having the list and shopping without my kids was the best thing ever. I can't speak for anyone else, but having kids when you're doing serious shopping (even with a list) just drives me crazy and I wind up forgetting too many things.
I still have a few things that I couldn't get at one store, so I'll have to make a quick stop at my other store for those things, but overall I am digging the menu. Since we were sick we already deviated a bit, but it was easy enough to just switch with another day and I knew I had what I needed to make the meal. Plus I scheduled a couple of repeats, and 2 nights of ordering pizza.
I also found a helpful blog in the process. It's called http://unclutterer.com/ . I found one of their older posts where they had a meal planner pdf, or excel sheet you can use for your weekly menu. It looks great, and I've printed it out to copy my plan down since I was just using a montly calendar printout from outlook. Give it a try if you need some extra organization, it may save you some sanity and a litte cash as well.