Last week was crazy for me. I had tons going on with the kids’ end of year activities and we also have lots going on behind the scenes at The Dinner Daily. When I know I am in for a totally swamped week, I usually try to carve out a couple hours on Sunday or early Monday am to get household things in order so I am not worrying and stressing about the day to day tasks. Laundry gets done and hopefully put away, papers for school get signed and in backpacks, and near and dear to my heart: meals get planned out and food is bought and in the kitchen ready to go for stress free dinners.
I had good intentions….first I was going to go Sunday (then decided it was too crowded), then it was first thing Monday am (then decided to get some phone calls off my list), then it was Monday night after dinner (I was too tired by that point) and by Wednesday I was in that horrible cycle of dealing with dinner on a day to day basis, flying into the grocery store at 6:00 to grab some chicken and some veggies, racing home and feeding a hungry family at around 7:00 pm. Kids were eating snacks (by that point my two boys had devoured a bag of gold fish and had about 3 yogurts each). I kept thinking tomorrow I will get it together but with an overloaded week I kept putting it off. I knew I had really fallen off the mark when I found myself at CVS one night 15 minutes before they closed buying food for my kids lunch boxes the next day ( and no it was not healthy whole food….believe me I felt the parent guilt).
The result? Incomplete dinners, meals that were late, tons of stress and WAY too much spent on groceries! How much? $452 in groceries from Monday to Saturday for one week of stressed out dinners. That is about $225 more than my normal weekly shop that covers dinners, lunches and some pantry staples. I consider that wasted money and the worst part: the overspending was completely preventable (sorry family!). I might as well have just thrown it out the car window on the way to the store.
Come dinner time each night I found myself either in a not so great mood (not having a plan by 5 pm is an instant mood kill for me) or running to the store and grabbing whatever I could. I truly live The Dinner Daily philosophy pretty much each and every week and not having a plan at dinner has become a thing of the past. It really was hard to go back to that crazy day to day way of getting dinner on the table.
This week I am back at it. Back to planning, back to being organized, and back to being relaxed at dinner. Shopped my well planned out list and took advantage of lots of store specials (total bill for 5 dinners, lunches, some pantry items and snacks) came to less than $200. I am looking forward to making Easy Fish Tacos for dinner tonight. I know its easy and my kids will eat it. (Hint: wrapping up healthy foods in tortillas with some tasty foods like shredded cheese, chopped tomato and lettuce and is usually a guaranteed win with picky eaters).
SO, next time you think you do not have time to plan out your weekly meals, think about how much time and money you will waste as a result. Find the time to plan it out (or if you don’t ever want to or want someone to do it for you we would be happy to help!) Its an overused phrase but one that still resonates with me “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Given my week last week, I know how true that is!