A new series that will share little lessons learned through the years.
I’m a systems kind of girl. I thrive when repetitive tasks are made easier. We have a “Family Binder” that houses all kinds of important information that we need to find on a regular basis. (I’ll probably feature that in a future post and tell you what is in the binder.) I mention this binder because my Weekly Planning form is found in the binder in a sheet protector with extra copies.
Since the big kids were little kids, I have used this form and posted it on our fridge. I have used the form in presentations to several mothers’ groups and I’ve lost count of the number of moms who spied it on our fridge and have asked for a copy.
Such buildup for an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper. 🙂
One of the best things about the efficiency of this form for me has been that anyone can write down a shopping item and when I have an errand day, I simply grab the sheet and fold it up and tuck it in my purse.
You can make something similar and put your favorite stores in each column. Keep an original as your master and make copies to have on hand or print from your computer. I do better when I can see what I need at each store rather than one giant list. Call me crazy, I’m just visual like that.
The second part of the form “Things to Do” is where I would first put all the activities for the week in the appropriate slots. I tried to do this every Sunday evening and then post it for all to see. PhilBillPaul and I would take a few minutes and review our separate calendars and plug in the items for the week. Since I’ve always had a homebased business, this was an excellent snapshot to see when I would be at a meeting or an event in the evening. Appointments, school events, basketball, etc., would all be recorded here.
Once that was done, it took less than 15 minutes for me to plan our meals around our schedule for the week. A weekly menu plan for dinner really helped us as a family. I believe that planning dinner is still a stress point for many. At the bewitching hour of 5:00 p.m. or so, the last thing I wanted to hear was a semi-whiney voice saying “Whaaaat’s for dinner?”
I rotated our meals around a master list of main dishes that we liked. We being me and PhilBillPaul. Now that the teens can make dinner (life skill), they have more input. The menu planning also helped with the shopping list and having them all on one sheet of paper really worked well for me! (Use the back if you need more room for your grocery list.)
I used the lunch planning when they were toddlers and in the years that we homeschooled. You can eliminate that portion of the form if all your kids are in school or you can use it for your own *healthy* lunch plans.
Here’s how I planned dinners in those toddler and tween days of chaos and Cocoa Krispies.
- Sunday – chicken night
- Monday – pasta night
- Tuesday – ground beef night
- Wednesday – breakfast night
- Thursday – pork night
- Friday – pizza night
- Saturday – “wing it” night
Peanut butter or cereal was available if they didn’t like the menu.
Make your own theme nights and rotate your favorite recipes or try new ones. A little bit of weekly planning can save you a lot of time during the week!
I must confess, I don’t use it as consistently as I used to because with three teenagers driving and working part-time, we all go different directions on many nights. But I do still use it during the holidays and on vacations.
I hope this inspires you to spend a little time planning your week so you can save some time and avoid some aggravation during the week. I’d like to hear if this helps or gives you an idea to improve what you are already doing. Or maybe you have a great system or menu planning tip? Either way, share it by leaving a comment here!