Cooking is a love of mine. I probably don't cook the same meal more than 2 times a year. This equates to an expensive food bill and a lot of wasted food (how many recipes do you know that call for garam masala? If you need any, I have a whole jar minus a tsp of it.).
The kids seem tired of being recipe guinea pigs.
More than half of our weekends are spent on food purchase and preparation.
Over time, this hobby of mine has slowly escalated to a level of priority that it doesn't deserve.
I'm taking back my weekends. We're going to try meal planning. I've read about this idea on other blogs (moneysavingmom.com, heavenlyhomemakers.com, passionatehomemaking.com) many times but felt that it was nutritionally lacking or just plain boring. Then I read this book called Simplicity Parenting that outlined the pros of meal planning that outweighed my cons. While we all know kids thrive on predicitablility in the home, I never really equated it to what was served at mealtime. I equated it to when and how we ate, but not what we ate.
So we're giving it a whirl. Each day has a general dinner category. Ours will be:
Then I, along with suggestions from other family members, will create 6 weeks worth of dinner menus. Breakfast and lunch will be the same every week. I will also make a master weekly ingredient list for each week to help simplify grocery shopping, and save money by loading up on regularly used items when they hit rock bottom prices.
As for my cooking hobby, this will give me the opportunity to "perfect" the recipes in the meal plan by making them more often. It also will allow me to focus a little more on efficiency by using meals I can make in bulk and freeze.
A project in improving efficiency?! Sign me up!