Simplicity: Meal Planning



Wanna know a secret? I suck at meal planning. I’ve never been awesome at it, but I used to be better than I am now. About two years ago, we (Will and I) devised a system in which I would grocery shop each day for that day’s food – kind of like the European model. (What I know of the European model, anyway. I’ve never been to Europe, so my knowledge is limited to what I learned in high school French class.) We decided to take this “route” because at the time, we lived in a small town. Really small. As in no street lights and the only “grocery store” (and I use that term very loosely) carried almost nothing fresh (a few bananas and moldy peaches/strawberries/bell peppers was the extent of the produce department) and charged double what a regular store would for the packaged stuff. The other option in town was a mini-mart whose owners bought their stock from Wal-Mart and marked them up from the already-retail price. So we decided, that as a way for me to make sure to get out of the apartment each day, I should take the car to the bigger town seven miles away and get groceries from a real store.

Since we moved to a bigger town half an hour away in December 2012 (the one I grew up in, actually), we’ve kept up with the daily shopping, just because it was we’d grown accustomed to. But now, I’m starting to feel like it’s becoming cumbersome. I want to spend my time hanging out with my boys, teaching them, playing with them. Not grocery shopping.

Which is going to require a fundamental change in the way I think about our food.

But change is good, right? 🙂

So here’s my plan. I’m going to make a weekly meal plan (inspired by this one from Confessions of a Homeschooler) and buy everything we need for the whole week (possibly excluding highly perishable produce – some things really are better to buy more frequently… although I might just buy that stuff too, and chop it all up and freeze it until it’s needed… we’ll see). The meal plan will include Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, and Dinner. For every single day. (My kids will be happy about the “snack” part – we never have snacks on hand.) I will then turn that meal plan into a grocery list, and on Tuesdays, I will go to the grocery store, just me (and probably Small Fry most weeks). Why Tuesdays? I thought about this a lot, and that’s the day that’s going to work best. Will typically works out of the house on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday each week (it can vary week to week, but that’s the schedule I can count on). Sundays are a Sabbath, so no shopping then. Mondays … well, I could shop on Mondays, but this week, Wednesday worked best (he’s working from home all this week), and I didn’t want my shopping trips to be only five days apart this time.

So there you go.

How do you keep mealtime/grocery shopping simple? Help a girl out and share your tips!



Wednesday Chat #3



My dear friends! Hello! It’s Wednesday, and that means time for another Wednesday Chat. As always, this is inspired by Everyday Ruralty, who provides wonderful questions to answer. Welcome to my porch.

What’s your favorite method to travel?

In a past life, I would have said “airplane,” hands down. But I haven’t been on a plane since I was 16 (!). The last time was on a trip to Florida with a school group when I was in 11th grade.

The only way I really travel at all anymore is by foot, bike, or car. I don’t particularly love any of those ways, but if I had to pick one … well, I can’t. So there you go.

If you wear jewelry, are you more likely to wear silver or gold?

Silver. No question. I have a few gold items of jewelry, but not many, and the one item I wear every day (my wedding ring) is silver. Well, white gold. But silver in color.

How often do you wear sunglasses?

Nearly every time I’m in the car, regardless of season – the sky is bright, not just the sun! But I have huge “old lady” sunglasses because they have to fit over my regular glasses. They were a gift from my step-mother-in-law.

Which would be easier for you to leave undone (for a short period of time) – dishes or laundry?

I can’t leave either undone for very long seeing as how we don’t have many of either. But if we had loads of dishes and loads of clothes, so that running out was never an issue, probably laundry. I really hate putting it away. Plus dishes will get stinky if you leave them undone. So yeah, laundry.

On a scale of 1-10 (1=hardly any, 10=house if full), how much clutter have you collected?

By most people’s standards, probably 1. But if you’re asking my opinion, 2 or 3. Our house isn’t so bad, but there are some things in the garage to donate away. Very little of what’s in the house is “clutter” per se. We use pretty much all of it pretty regularly, and there’s not much that doesn’t have a home. Our biggest vice is paper and books, thanks to the homeschooling. But those are pretty easy to take care of :).

As always, thank you for joining me on this beautiful April morning (or afternoon, or evening … whenever you’re reading this!). I’d love to hear your answer to one or more of these questions!



Picture of the Week: Walking the Dog

walking the dog

There’s a lady in our church who brings her dog on Sundays. We were in the Fellowship Hall with Small Fry after church, and Romeo (the dog) was just minding his business, sitting underneath a table.

Well …

A certain little boy couldn’t have that! He found the dog’s leash and promptly started leading him all around the room. And it’s a big room!

Fortunately, the dog’s owner didn’t mind – she insisted I take pictures!