Every couple weeks, I get my two least favorite activities (ERRANDS and COOKING) done in the same day. When I decide to do it, it opens up the rest of the week to so much productivity!
Here’s the general schedule and how I do it.
(BEFORE the day)
- Write grocery list (I’ve written about this before, but I write my grocery shopping list in the exact order everything is located in the store – helps a lot with speed and sanity when we are 17 minutes in and one or two kids start to whine.
- Have kids’ clothes laid out so I can throw their clothes on and we can leave first thing in the morning!
- Have kitchen cleaned up. (The one morning a week that is my nemesis is MONDAYS so this is harder than it sounds!)
8:00 Clean up Breakfast & Get Kids Dressed
Spend 10 minutes clearing toy clutter that they pulled out so we can walk into a clean(ish) house.
9:00 Walmart – and usually only one other place because that’s all we can do if I want to get home in time.
12:00 Home – Make them something fast like microwave burritos, Ramen or Mac N Cheese. (Errand day comes once a week so I figure they’ll survive with that type of food.)
12:30 All my kids take naps. (Errands wear them out too so even the 5 year old who is usually skipping naps now sleeps!)
12:45 This usually gives me a solid hour and a half!
Now, at this point – all the food is sitting on the counter still.
So (AFTER making coffee!) I put away what needs to be put away, but I end up keeping MOST of it out because I’m going to use it to make all the meals. (LOVE the excuse to not put stuff away!)
Here is a typical meal plan of the meals I make. I usually need to make ahead 5 meals:
1. Stuffed Green Peppers (Hamburger)
2. Thai Chicken Casserole (Chicken)
3. Burritos (Chicken)
4. Potatoes and Hamburger Gravy (Hamburger)
5. Tacos (Hamburger)
I make a graph to see at a glance what I need to use each main ingredient for.
The top left shows the hamburger uses.
The top right shows the rice uses.
The bottom left shows the chicken uses.
And the bottom right is just a reminder of other main ingredients that are only used in one dish each.
I usually start the rice or potatoes (because they take so long).
Then I cook ALL the meat.
Finally, I add in the vegetables and extra seasonings to make the rest of the food.
And put them all together!
(USUALLY, I have most of the ingredients made but not much mixed together yet (i.e. NOTHING finished but everything pulled out when the kids get up from their naps.
But when they get up, we have my sanity saver of “MOVIE MONDAY” which I put in about 3:00. This gives me another much needed hour and a half!
I usually can get the living room cleaned up (though not often the kitchen) by the time my husband comes home. Usually though, I can finish the kitchen after supper and enter Tuesday with a 5 day stretch of pre-cooked meals, no errands, a semi-clean house (and well…time to catch up on the laundry).