(First Week of the) Year in Review

I am not generally one to make resolutions. My logic is such that if I don’t make any promises, I will not suffer the repercussions when I break one. With two kids, three jobs, the ever-growing piles of laundry and dishes, and the recent appearance of an unwanted guest (who has decided to take up residence in the wall behind my older child’s closet in the hopes that she will continue to drop candy wrappers in there), I can’t handle the guilt I would inevitably feel after sneaking just one more piece of fudge from the Christmas stash. So, my only resolution for 2012 was not to make any resolutions.

And now I have to admit that I have already broken my resolution.

As anyone claiming the title of domestic engineer will tell you, running a household is not easy. As the chief DE of my house, I oversee the daily operations that keep us all in business. If I were actually managing a business, I would have to keep careful records to ensure that everyone and everything was in the right place at the right time. Failing to do so would result in a cash register being unmanned or a shelf full of expired items. Both of these situations would cause an interruption of service and put my future with the company in jeopardy. As a mother, failing to do my job puts something more important in jeopardy — my family.

One area that I have long needed improvement in is meal planning. I often find myself at 5:30 PM not knowing what we’re having for dinner. Then, when I look in the refrigerator, I see a shelf full of moldy leftovers. And in the pantry is a conglomeration of items that would not create anything appetizing. So, after opening the door a third time only to find pancake syrup, barbecue sauce, and three packets of Ramen noodles, I load the kids in the car to go pick something up. It’s the American way, right? Maybe, but I suspect the wisdom of the Chinese would serve my family better. The old proverb says that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. With my current way of doing things, I am not feeding my children with their long-term welfare in mind.

So, on New Year’s Day, I unwittingly made a resolution to be more careful with the family meal plan. I actually wrote out a list of the meals we would eat for the week. Then, I went shopping for the ingredients I would need. My plan allowed for the excess and the quick to expire items to be used on another day. Today marks the last day on our weekly plan. (We’re having fried rice and egg rolls.) We’ve only eaten out once (as a weekend treat). And best of all, we ended the week with money still in the bank!

Despite breaking my anti-resolution, I’m pleased with the steps I have taken to move my family in the right direction, so I’m going give it another shot next week. I figure I already broke my resolution, so it can’t hurt!

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8 Responses to (First Week of the) Year in Review

  1. Me says:

    You need the cookbook “Cheap, Fast, Good.” It has loads of good “plan ahead” tips and recipes. I’ve only used their tips a few times, but if you really stick to it, I can imagine that cookbook would be helpful.

  2. I plan my meals out two weeks in advance because I HATE to grocery shop. Having those plans in hand really takes the stress out of cooking because I know what we’re having each night. Making friends with my pressure cooker and slow cooker has made a huge difference, too. I love being able to toss stuff in at 9am and having it ready at 6. I’ve got some recipes if you’re interested.

    • zomelie says:

      YES!! I don’t have a pressure cooker, but I do like my crock pot. I would love some new recipes (might give me motivation to keep going). Two weeks at a time sounds like it might be a bit much for me at the moment. One week is much easier for me to handle, but we’ll see how it goes…

  3. I need to get better at this. I usally start off strong and then fail. Love the slow cooker…that was another one of my failures…I wanted to use it once a week. Yeah, haven’t used it in a month. I usually do beef or pork roast. Super easy. Now I’m off to find a new slow cooker recipe… good luck

  4. It’s so difficult to find recipes that are easy to make, healthy and kid-friendly. These days I am taking the easy way out more often than I’d lke to admit, so I applaud your effort!

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