Use the tags at the bottom of this post to find the other posts in this "series". See the original post about what is happening in our home here: Temporary Change of Routine
Life while working takes a decent amount of planning anyway - if want to maintain the goals of eating properly, having a clean home, plenty of family time and that family values are being shared and enhanced.
Now throw in homeschooling.
And maintaining 2 website businesses.
And most importantly, time with loved ones.
(or whatever blend your family has in the mixer!)
But before all of that, every member of the family needs to eat properly and have clean clothing.
When I work from home, we can kind of let things slide - there is a lot of flexibility when I know I can start dinner preparations at any time - or have Legoboy pull something from the freezer. Being out of the home - requires planning - unless we want to run to fast-food all the time (that would be a NO).
Regardless, even when home "full-time", we still use OAMM: Once a Month Meals. We use it every 3-4 months. It helps us to have things on hand - and a neat new feature on their website is the ability to mix and match recipes from their variety of menus; truly fine-tuning it to meet our family's needs.
|No more breakfast in bed....|
at least for a while.
Now that I will be out of our home 5 full days a week, we'll need to actually plan. I'll have 4 days a week of packing my own lunch; he'll typically eat with whoever has him, but I'll want to send something for him to share with others. Breakfast needs to be quick (and we can't do cold cereal first in the morning - at least I physically can't). The evenings we have tae-kwon-do or a later atrium, we'll want items we can warm up quickly or pack to take with us or I can put in the crockpot after school and have it ready to eat when we are home from TKD; evenings we will be home can be something that takes a bit longer to prep (oven-prepped items for example). Weekends, we'll cook up something that we won't mind eating throughout the week through re-heating it (or eating it cold).
But I need to take a look at our schedule and coordinate the recipes appropriately.
Since my subbing position is a one-month thing, I think I will plan for most of the month, day-by-day - kind of OCD-fashion and NOT my preference. If this were going to be an ongoing thing, I am not sure if I would want to plan for the entire month - maybe just 2 weeks - it more depends on the reality of the situation when in the middle of it.
The goal here is to eat properly - healthy, enough, not too much - but not spend just TOO long in the kitchen because there is also family time, education, and downtime to consider. And still get in the daily healthy stuff we LOVE and our bodies CRAVE: yogurt smoothies of various blends, gelatin (real gelatin, not jello), turmeric, local honey for the boy.
So we plan the menu (Legoboy helps, yes) --- we do the shopping --- then we spend one evening and one full day doing nothing but food prep. Hm. Have to find the time to do this. A necessary thing to save SO much time later. It's worth it; just coming up FAST. In fact, we will likely be in the middle of our food preparations as this post goes live (writing it a week ahead).
This time around, I'll create a chart to show what to take with us on each day; what to take out to thaw and when; etc. Definitely too OCD for my liking. I just want the month to go smoothly, because I know what an emotional wreck this is going to try do have in me.
Oh - and here's a big one I completely forget about when talking to other people but just caught myself DOING without thinking about it:
Get a sharpie. LABEL items for when they should be consumed.
This is a great technique, too, for when you've bought some great item in bulk to save lots of money but you know (or think, or hope they won't!) you and/or family will end up eating/using more of that item than usual - and in the end, you've not really saved any money.
One time, I bought up a case of graham cracker boxes - one of those fantastic sales and I was actually able to stock up. I allotted one box per month (for the two of us) and only bought enough to cover until the expiration date on them. So they have a "use by" date and a self-added "OPEN AFTER" date as well :)
I do the same thing with ranch dressing (one of my very few remaining chemical-ridden items in my kitchen - I know there are better options, I just haven't gone there yet).
All this labeling - it really helped us learn self-control. And we don't use it just as much anymore --- but with the upcoming month, Labeling is Back.
UPDATE (prior to posting - I just don't feel like editing) - I have to forego the OAMM plan this month because we have so much in our freezer and fridge already that needs to be utilized (when I do OAMM cooking, I need to start with a nearly empty freezer)
Part of our plan -----
- oatmeal is always on hand; mix up a few instant oatmeal packs (with properly healthy ingredients of course)
- I have frozen sour-dough pancakes yet I can split into serving bags - warm up and eat with (homemade) jam and (local) maple syrup. YUM!
- hardboil some eggs for each week or two weeks - to have one in a lunch and one for a breakfast for each of us each week
- sausage-egg-potato mixture (can't remember what it's actually called - warm it up in a skillet with coconut oil - add some himalyan salt - and perfect morning meal!
- hashbrown scramble (it's actually parsnips instead of potatoes) - again sauteed in some coconut oil and delicious! (it's actually only tasty when it's warm - gets cold and bleck)
- lunch-meat and cheese sandwiches - make them a week or two ahead and freeze
- leftovers from suppers when the sandwiches need a break
- rotate through the fresh veggies in the fridge until those are gone
- clementine every day
- daily bone broth - YUM!
- granola bites/balls
- homemade cookies (my style of homemade cookies ;) )
- marshmallows (homemade - all-natural - actual health BENEFITS)
- fresh fruit
- fresh veggies
- handful of nuts (almonds, pistachios)
- soft shell taco "packs" (baggies in the freezer - pull them out - thaw - cook - eat)
- alfredo sauce and pasta (can mix it all together and warm up in skillet)
- homemade mini-pizzas - just can't decide on the style....
- turkey soup and dumplings (can sit in crockpot all day; add dumplings when we get home; set the table, get selves oriented and all will be ready to eat)
- turkey/spinach burgers (because we have them)
- something labeled "tie" (probably "thai"-something but Legoboy thought to be clever - I can't find the recipe card for it though. This should be fun ;) ).
- working on the rest