Meal Planning for Peace

Nothing can derail a day like not having a plan in place for dinner. Knowing what’s for dinner and reliably having ingredients stocked brings an outsized measure of peace. It means that I can spend my (limited!) mental energy on things like writing and homeschooling.

For a few years now I’ve been taking classes and learning from Jessica Fisher at Good Cheap Eats. Turns out meal planning is a skill, and you can learn how to do it. Here are a few helpful resources.

  • Grocery Savings Challenge this month is all about filling the freezer–just in time for the return to the school routine!
  • Jessica on Instagram so much good info here! Jessica goes live almost every weekday around 10 am. She is funny and smart and ready to help. Talking freezer meal tips all month.
  • Dinner Calendar I use these lovely free printable calendars from A Humble Place (excellent picture study resources too!) I write out our dinner plan and put it on the fridge. And then no one asks me, What’s for dinner?
  • Simplify what’s for dinner! We eat beans and rice every week. It’s good, humble food. Then I use the leftover beans in another meal–nachos, tacos, soup, tostadas. Two meals every week that are already more or less planned.
  • Have a few backups. Our days as home educators hardly ever go exactly as planned. And these exceptional days–that really aren’t the exception–can make it hard to stick to a meal plan. Always having a jar of sauce and some noodles on hand means that we can eat. Add in some meat from the freezer and some garlic bread and it’s a feast!

2 Comments

  1. I did not know A Humble Place had picture study resources and I’m so happy to find it because we are planning on studying Tanner in the Winter.

    I’ve gotten a bit fed up with trying to please 5 people and have adopted the “bread instead” rule–If you do not like what’s for dinner you are free to help yourself to bread and whatever you can put on it that does not make a mess.

    I added a leftover piece of bacon (how did we end up with leftover bacon 🤔) to our can of beans–I should make them from scratch but can’t stand the smell–and WoW Yumminess! Who can complain about that?? Xo

    1. We did Tanner this spring (so that we could study his amazing Annunciation on the Annunciation). We are using the picture study resources from Heritage Mom this year: https://heritagemom.com/?s=picture+study Excellent! Starting with Horace Pippin. I’ve been meaning to send you the link to Heritage Mom–she’s doing good work.

      I always scoop a spoonful of bacon fat into the beans as they cook. I wonder about cooking beans outside in a slow cooker/instapot? Less smell that way?

      The “Bread Instead” rule sounds like Molly Katzen’s suggestion to have a few alternatives that are always on had that you feel ok with kids eating. As they’ve gotten older our kids’ taste have gotten more and more varied and interesting. So much easier to cook when color/texture/taste aren’t always an issue.

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