Wednesday, April 9, 2008

One Way to Keep Your Sanity

Being a mom has its challenges. Being a working mom has some different ones. My biggest challenge: What should we have for dinner every night?

Well, there's a few ways to deal with that:

1) Order or Takeout
2) Cook something (that's hopefully nutritious)

All that is fine and good, but getting to the grocery store is not exactly on the top of many women's list of "fun things to do with free time." One thing that I have found that saves my sanity is planning the meals for the week.

Although it takes some discipline (I am guilty of not doing it and then regretting it later), you will find that not only does it make it easier when you get home and you are trying to get dinner on the table (the answer to "what are we having?" is already answered), but you will also save money in the long-run cause food in your refrigerator (e.g., fresh veggies, fruit) will be eaten and not spoiled.

To help you out, here is a sample dinner menu for my family for a week, and to top it off, they are quick and easy (and toddler-friendly):

Monday: Sandwiches (usually toasted ham with cheese), salad and fruit
Tuesday: Tortellini, green beans
Wednesday: Turkey Meatloaf, baked potato (microwave), fruit
Thursday: Chicken quesadillas (use the already cooked chicken to save time), corn
Friday: Pizza (this I get takeout from a local place -- who wants to cook on Friday?), salad

Saturdays and Sundays are always up in the air. Sometimes we like to cook meals that take longer and sometimes we use the opportunity to hang out with friends and go out to eat. Whatever you decide, planning out meals allows you and your family to know what's for dinner and it's flexible enough to switch around based on your busy schedules or even prepare the night before to save even more time!

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