Today starts our 4 weeks of minimizing and sorting stuff out extravaganza! Sounds more fun than drudgery and reinvention, right?
Anyway, this first week we are tackling FOOD. Anything from your pantry to your fridge; how you store it, buy it, and what you do with it! Along with the blog posts, we are going to have smaller tips and ideas on Facebook and Instagram, so hopefully you will follow along there as well.
With that in mind, let’s dive right in. It is no secret that managing life is crazy for almost all of us. For me, it is juggling the kids and Mr. Peach’s job with this blog and those pesky daily tasks like cooking and general housewiffery. My children are older now, and while my days are quieter and I can get more done, the evenings are bananas and fitting in a family dinner (much less just dinner that is available for all to eat) has become quite the pickle.
From about 2 pm until potentially 9 or 10, there is lots of driving going on over here at The Peach House. We open enroll the youngest two kids about a half an hour away, so that entails 2 hours in the car a day (provided they both start and end at the same times…which is often not the case). Add to that, when they have activities over there, the commute is longer as well. The things we do for our kids, amIright? All 3 kids are currently in some sort of extra curricular activity, with varying degrees of time commitment. One child is even a giant PIA and is in several activities which is not helping!
All of this to say…we are BUSY! Luckily, I have been doing this job for awhile now, and I have figured a couple of things out. One big thing that works wonders for this house is meal planning!
This is how I go about meal planning. First, I take a look at the monthly calendar, to see all what we have going on, and of course, I focus specifically on the week I am planning for. This is where my big white board and family calendar (first pic in the post) comes handy. It is right in the kitchen and next to all of the cookbooks!
I then go to that specific week in my planner, and get all detailed about our schedule, specifically, where my pockets of time are. Do you see Tuesday over there? How full it is? What you don’t see is that my angel husband is out of town that night….so the time shrinks more with one driver.
Let me break my meal plan down for you:
Monday: busy around usual “making dinner time” (for me that is about 3-5ish), so I planned a 15 minutes prep meal that can cook fast and uses one pan! WIN! I am using a recipe for One Pan Meatballs with Potatoes and Broccoli from this book.
Tuesday: literally no time. Maybe a few minutes after getting one kid before having to turn around and get another. So, the plan is to make soup during the day that everyone can eat when they get home/before they have to leave again. I am using this recipe for Cabbage, Sausage and Potato Soup.
Wednesday: I have more time this day, partly because my wonderful in-laws have volunteered to get the kids from school. But they all have different religion times, so I will have to cook it early so the first wave can get to church by 6. We will be having pork chops, sweet potatoes and green beans (no recipe needed!).
Thursday: Mr. Peach is back, which is good, so driving all of the things isn’t a problem, however again, not a lot of cooking time during my ideal hours. Therefore, I am bringing out the trusty instant pot to whip us something delicious quickly, before some of my darlings have practice again.
I am making Chicken Drumsticks with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil from this cookbook.
Things start to wind down by Friday, but then again, so does my energy levels. The oldest will probably want to do something with friends, who knows who will even be around. Leftovers should be plentiful and an easy choice for this mom.
One note about leftovers in this house: my people will eat them if I warm it all up (and even more so if I plate it up and we eat together). We aren’t the biggest fans of leftovers, but I am really trying to buckle down on this issue this month. Food waste is a big problem, is terrible for the environment AND the pocketbook.
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