- Sammy's School Lunches
- On the Go (this category + leftovers will make up lunches for me and Matt)
- Dinners & Leftovers
- Pantry Staples
Step 1 was to ask the family what foods they like and don't like (the boys are the pickiest!)
Step 2 was choosing items from their lists that are located in the "outer aisle" of the grocery store, which is supposedly the healthier items to eat.
So, here are some examples of our "keep in stock" items:
Breakfast: Yogurt, Fruit, Hash Browns, Peanut Butter Toast, Bakery Muffins
Sammy's School Lunches: String Cheese, Fruit, Pizza Lunchables, Frozen PB&J Crustables
Snacks: Yogurt, Fruit, Cheese/Crackers
On the Go: Pre-made Salads, Homemade "Sandwich Kits"(like lunch meat w/condiments, etc)
Dinners & Leftovers: My plan here is to make double portions and immediately pack leftovers before eating (this will also eliminate me going back for seconds); Of course I also had to a few have "Dinner Categories":
"Mystery Mondays" (maybe not the best name - reminds me of a school cafeteria) - but this is where I get to pick a new recipe for the family to try and this is my "keep it fresh" outlet so I don't get bored making the same dinners
"Soupy Sundays" - basically a crockpot soup or stew we can eat immediately after church and throughout the rest of the day (also great leftovers for Monday)
"Family Favorite Fridays" - this will most likely be pizza night or something fun for the kids
"Traditional Tuesdays & Thursdays" - these are the weekly repeats that everyone loves (i.e. Chicken Casserole, Cheesy Rice and Chicken, etc.)
Pantry Staples: various Campbell's cooking soups, Potatoes, Rice, Canned Tomatoes and Sauces, Favorite Dinner Ingredients, Frozen Veggies, etc.
I know this seems to take a lot of time and organization but isn't it also true that the most stressful decision of the day is what to make for dinner? At least this way you will always have the majority of what you need in stock at your house and your weekly grocery trip will become quick sale pickups and fresh items (like fruit, meat, and veggies).
I don't know - thoughts from anyone else on what helps you and your kitchen sanity?