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Enjoy the Weekend by Nailing Down the Weeknights

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 53 Replies

Although we tend to divide a lot of the household chores, the division is based on talents we both have. I have a talent in the kitchen, so I do most of the cooking. Even though I am GOOD at cooking and I ENJOY cooking, you'd be surprised at how incredibly IRKED I get at being asked, "What's for dinner tonight?"

So I decided to stop that question from even leaving their lips.

Through the week, I have a pretty firm stance on dinner: WE EAT AT HOME. I'm pretty firm about it because I don't mind cooking. I like having everyone gather around the dinner table, I like the conversation about our days, and I like having an hour where everyone is forbidden to utilize electronics. We take it back to the Amish, as it were.

Because I cook through the week, I don't mind relinquishing all kitchen-type duties over the weekend. To put it simply - I'll take care of the five meals during the week. The weekend? Y'ALL FEED ME.

(As a result, we eat out a lot on the weekends.)

Before we got strict, we found that a lot of our monthly budget was going to food. And - surprising no no one at all - 75% of that cost was last-minute dining choices. So I decided: if we're going to enjoy our weekends affordably, and I'm not going to cook, we're going to have to pin down our weekly dinner budget.

Full Disclosure: I am a Virgo. Thusly, I am also a natural list-maker. Completely unrelated to astrology, I also have a love of kitschy notebooks.

Enter my Meal Planner.

My Meal Planner - which, honestly, I think I found at Target forever ago? - lives on my fridge. Every Sunday morning, I sit down with my Meal Planner and Pinterest and I figure out what meals we can use to get us through the week.

I love this for several reasons. Mostly, I love this because this sits on my fridge. If anyone enters the kitchen and starts to ask me about dinner, I can redirect them to said list. TA DA! Don't ask! You're literate! Occasionally, I'll even take meal requests.

Not long after I've decided on the meal plan for the week, I reference my grocery list, which ALSO remains on my fridge. That way I can mark off key ingredients on my grocery list, and I'm not that crazy lady who walks up and down aisles in the grocery store, praying for inspiration in the pasta section and buying anything that catches her eye. (My grocery list is also open to additional participation from family members; I often don't know if the boys need shampoo or the dogs need food, and they can add that on there themselves.)

I don't even feel like I'm exaggerating when I say that this little process - which ultimately may take two hours, including the shopping - irons out my ENTIRE week. Not only is everything taken care of in one grocery trip, but I also know ahead of time that if I have a late worknight on Monday? That's the day I need to make a crockpot dinner before I leave for work.

And when I can get the entire week planned out ahead of time? There is ABSOLUTELY no guilt in me handing off all food-related responsibility all weekend.

(So, what's for dinner?)

What little tip do you have that help free up your weekend, financially or time-wise?

by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
elasmimi
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 6:44 AM

We do just the opposite. weekends are the only time my hubby is home to grill, so he cooks on weekends, and we rarely eat out. Right now, we eat out on Monday (tonight, yea) because Ela has gymnastics til 6:40.

elasmimi
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 6:46 AM

I do a menus plan, but don't post it, because they don't care what we're having. I do like the idea of the grocery list, just being able to mark off what I need, because I buy the same things most of the time.

goddess99
by Michelle on Mar. 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I meal plan as well, has saved us lots of money. I also have an ongoing shopping list people can add to, which rarely happens. Weekends my dd is usually gone so my dh and I fend for ourselves or he cooks.

millerbunch
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:01 AM

we do not meal plan.. i look in my freezer that day..lol  

i do like your lists, especially the one that the kids can fill in what they need/want

amy7243
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

 I do love the list ideas. We like to get alot of the cleaning done during the week that way I can do things with everyone and not have to stay home to clean.

momkaribg
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

 Since it has warmed up, we have been using the grill alot also.

Quoting elasmimi:

We do just the opposite. weekends are the only time my hubby is home to grill, so he cooks on weekends, and we rarely eat out. Right now, we eat out on Monday (tonight, yea) because Ela has gymnastics til 6:40.

 

momkaribg
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

 This is what i do also.

Quoting millerbunch:

we do not meal plan.. i look in my freezer that day..lol  

i do like your lists, especially the one that the kids can fill in what they need/want

 

dusky_rose
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I don't meal plan, but I do like to keep the ingredients on hand to make whatever I decide to make that day. Our freezer is stocked with meats and other frozen foods and our pantry is stocked with foods bought mostly when they were on sale. I do keep a list on the fridge, so that I can add to it as I am in the kitchen and see that we need something though. I usually cook all week and sometimes on weekends we get takeout or on a special occasion go out to dinner.


I'm thankful for a hubby that loves me, 4 healthy children, a warm
place to sleep and enough food for our meals... God bless America!

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I start Friday evening getting cleaning done and then Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon, the weeked is free.

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 10:12 AM

We just started making it a priority to keep weekends free- the weekdays and weeknights are so busy, why waste a whole weekend doing the running around too?  We do easy dinners like leftovers, pancakes, we clean the house then just enjoy some time together- we may have a game to go to when sports season starts- but the kids will have to pick one sport a year so it's only for a season and not a constant running thing.  I think our time together is much more valuable then running around will ever be.  

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