I find that it helps tremendously to have a meal pre-set for each day of the week. Making the grocery list is easier. There is little to no thought expended on the question "what's for dinner". Gone are the times I spent standing at the fridge or freezer, letting the cold out, and trying to whip up a gourmet meal. This rule of thumb is especially important now because on November 1st my husband started a new client....and will now be working 60+ hours a week. The income will be wonderful, but as we learned with his last client of this nature, when you work that much money tends to get tossed around. So, as we head into chaos, our dinner meal routine is set:
- Sunday - quiche and veggies;
- Monday - brown rice, curried veggies, crockpot chicken;
- Tuesday - soup and bread;
- Wednesday - clean out the fridge leftovers
- Thursday - bean dish (think lentils, etc.)
- Friday - pasta
- Saturday - take-out pizza (using a coupon).
Our routine is extending beyond meals. We now know that Mondays are library mornings, with the aim to cut out any late fees. Sundays and Wednesdays are grocery days at Sentry (Wednesday is also double coupon day at the store). Tuesday and Thursday we hang out at home, tackling a chore or two (currently raking leaves). Friday is adventure day, usually to our zoo (free) or for a nature walk. Saturday is farmers' market day. And Sunday, if our kids are cooperative, is attending services at the First Unitarian Society. And that is pretty much it. I make a weekly run to Target, and a monthly run to Woodmans (warehouse grocery) and have my husband watch the kids. Far more efficient!
My hope is that this simple, set schedule with cut down on the car trips, allow my husband and I to conduct business as usual (I'm with the kids in the AM and works PMs), and set a calm pace so that we can continue our frugal ways.