For years I have used meal planning, to help me during the week. Meal plans, make sure, I know what we’ll eat on a day-to-day basis and helps me do my weekly groceries, plus saves on impulse buys and last minute grocery runs).
Meal planning is one of these investment things;
a little pain (-plan and shop), for a lot of gain (- several smooth running week days).
If you are a working parent, having a meal plan won’t save all problems, you will most likely still be making food when everyone is hungry and tired, but life is a lot easier as you simply follow what you had planned and you will have the groceries on hand to follow this plan. A detailed article about menu planning can be found here.
As you get used to weekly meal planning, it will take less and less of your time. After a bit of practice, I could create a meal plan in five minutes on a scrap piece of paper. Of course you can use the fancy printed meal plans as well, but if you are just starting out with getting more organized, easy does it.
It is interesting how the journey of providing my family with healthy meals evolved for me. Initially I strongly disliked cooking and doing groceries, but I also disliked feeling hungry and exhausted when coming home from work. After getting onto HelloFresh and doing several programs with IQS (I Quit Sugar). It actually feels rather uncomfortable now if I don’t have a meal plan and food ready for the week ahead.
As a general rule, you can be certain that during this coming week, you will feel hunger pangs coming on. And if I am not the one getting hungry, my wonderful kids will turn into winning creatures called “hungry” and “starving” which appears to become only more pronounced as the kids are getting older.
Over the years I found, it is simply easier to be prepared and proactive than to scurry around, be reactive and increase the chances of bad and unhealthy food becoming the norm.
As you sit down and plan both your meals and groceries, potentially think about breakfasts and lunches as well. This is easy and straight forward, especially if you are on your own. It becomes increasingly more complex, but important to plan your food, if you have kids. After a while, I found that I could extend the meal planning practice to cover breakfast and most of the daily school requirements: special crunch and sip (a piece of fruit or veg), little lunch (little snack) and big lunch (main lunch).
Once all this was covered, I felt more fully prepared.The food required for breakfasts and lunches can then also incorporated into the grocery list, making the planning, shopping and cooking or food prep, a very streamlined system from beginning to end.
A few years ago when I was in the trows of getting used to life as a full-time working single parent, I still didn’t like meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking even though, I did all of the above weekly or daily. Then one Sunday morning, when I did my weekly shopping in the local mall, I saw something (one of these sales people in a stall) which would end up answering a lot of my prayers.
The service is called Hello Fresh, this company creates three weekly recipes for you and your family, dropping a weekly box of food at your doorstep. This means, they will actually do a large part of the grocery shopping and meal planning for you.
Their slogan is - everything but the chef – this turned out to be an added bonus, because besides saving on meal planning and grocery shopping, it increased my cooking skills over time.
It reduced: planning time for organizing meals, shopping time and money on groceries. As mentioned, it increased my cooking skills and made that my kids are now very involved in cooking. We also ended up trying different foods, we would have never tried otherwise (as I simply wouldn’t have known how to cook it). Over time I have become a more confident cook and started to enjoy cooking (most of the time – at least). I also started to invite friends over more often, even during the week, as there is always a delicious meal just around the corner.
I have used Hello Fresh for over a year now and do not want to go without it. The meals are affordable, healthy and easy to make (even for someone who at the start of this journey, didn’t really like cooking) all the hard work of thinking what to cook and doing the groceries, is done for you. You chop, cook and stir it together and people think they are eating out in a restaurant.
Overall this service is a great tool for busy families, single parents or a professional couple.
Getting organised is not something that has to be hard or needs to be done without any external help. It is more a bit of a mindset change, you can use crutches like; great tools, tips and services. If it fits with your life style and budget, I would say go and get all the help you can. It will make your life easier and allows you to shine in the area you are good at.
Organizing is meant to support you in life, helping you make the biggest contribution you can to the world you live in.
Getting support from a service like Hello Fresh is a great way to increase both your level of organization and your ability to contribute more to the important things in your life.
If you have never heard of Hello Fresh and would like to have a look, follow the link to their website here.
Use this code: J7472A to get a $35,- dollar discount on your first Hello Fresh box.
Note; I genuinely like this service and use it, but if you want to just try it for a week, make sure to stop the automatic order straight after you have signed up for your free or discounted meal pack and take some time, to think about whether it is a good product for you.
One of the great things of owning a website is linking to other great products and services. When I promote a product this affiliate disclaimer is on here to let you know, that I will get some form of payment if you decide to sign up or click through to this affiliate website. In most cases there is a nice discount for you in there as well (if you decide to go ahead with the suggested service).
Be rest assured that I would never write a page and endorse a product I don’t 100% believe in. My job as an organizer is to; teach, learn and spread the word about great ideas, hacks and help available to get you more organized. Sometimes this is through a third party but I would have tested it (often for months or years) before recommending this to others.