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Enjoy the Weekend by Nailing Down the Weeknights

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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
Replies (41-50):
by Bronze Member on Mar. 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM

hubby is too picky to meal plan here

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

 Love this idea!!! I'm so stealing this :)

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM

We usually grill on the weekends.  Everything goes on the grill.  Frees up a lot of MY time (maybe not hubby's) lol.

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Some times I like to make a big roast, pot of soup or lasagna that will last us the weekend. In the Summer we do alot of grilling, though.

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 9:19 PM

I only shop once a month and weekends we usually just eat fast meals that are easy to cook or we eat out.

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 9:58 PM

We don't really get weekends too often because my husband works 4 days on and 2 days off. I am a stay at home mom right now so free time isn't that hard for me yet. I do try to make things easier by planning my meals and getting most of it prepared and ready to go the night before or the morning of the meal. :)

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 10:01 PM

That is how we are too. I grill year round. Rain, snow or sun. Doesn't matter to me. :)

Quoting daerca574:

 We are homebodies for the most part.  We enjoy grilling and watching movies, or just playing ball outside on the weekends.

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 10:42 PM

I love it 

by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I meal plan as well.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I wish I could get to where I shop once a month.

Quoting aj23:

I only shop once a month and weekends we usually just eat fast meals that are easy to cook or we eat out.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
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