Sunday, July 14, 2013

Getting Back on Track

Summer break is over for us here and with school comes busy after school times and hungry children by the time supper rolls around. While I wish I could say that I'm really organized, unfortunately I can't. Not that I don't try. So now that a new school year has begun I am attempting to get back on track with getting organized and ready for a new start too. 

First thing I did was make sure that I had meals made and school snacks on hand for the start. Every year I mean to do this and time slips away putting me behind the curve. This year I made the time, and for those that read Getting Ready For School Start, Beyond the Supplies, you will know I was on it this year and have that checked off my list! I love that, my list grows so much, it's nice to have time to check things off. 

Second thing I've done is made sure to start budgeting my food again. If I go off I tend to spend a PHENOMINAL amount on food and a lot goes to spoilage. Such a waste, so I try hard to keep a plan and stick to it. Even if it means that I change the menu items around, as long as I stick to it we do SO much better!! This week I kept things simple and integrated some premade frozen meals in because I know those days will be busy. After I made the menu it was easy to go to the grocery and stick to my budget (ok, kind of because hubby needed very lean ground beef for jerky he made with the kiddos. So that put me over, even if it was for a good cause). The nice part is when I do this not only do I find I spend far less on impulse buys or things "I could use" to make a certain meal, I know exactly what I need. The amount of overage of food is TREMENDOUSLY less than my "throw together" way of shopping. Plus, I can also organize and prep a lot of food at the beginning of the week. My actual meal cooking time is reduce and meals are far less stressful when I know exactly what is being made each night and have the flexibility to swap meals if needed. My menu this week cost me $200. For a family of 7, and I pack lunches, that comes out to $4.07 per day per person. Now, keep in mind I had meat already in my freezer for this week and some premade meals. But that is what I try to stick to as my weekly budget. If we have extra people I try not to tack on more than $5/ person if possible, of course we all know that doesn't always happen but that's my attempt. 

It took 15 minutes to make a meal planner with lines so I could write what prep was needed for the week. After I was done with that, I printed out a meal menu to help my kids who HAVE to know what we are having for dinner. I laminated it and put it in a frame without glass. I can change it weekly and then make a fall menu, Halloween, Christmas... It is fun for the kids and one less question I have to answer 10 times as I'm trying to make supper. 

Third thing this year is my cleaning routine, I have none. So I have a list of things I need to do, to ease the overwhelming nature of really cleaning my whole house I've divided the upstairs and downstairs into sections. I am assigning one section per day so I can get that done and straighten the rest of the house and not get really behind. Nothing is worse than realizing you have a big project done and now the rest of the house has suffered... That way I don't get overwhelmed as the usual every day craziness, caused by various distractions, happens. If I get to 2 sections in a day, great otherwise if I need a break or LUNCH or just time to run somewhere I can do that without, again, falling so far behind it's just not worth it to keep on schedule because it gets frustrating when I can't keep to it. 

Another part of keeping the house clean is really pushing my kiddos to help take pride and keep their areas clean. All of us as parents know this is a never ending battle, but I seem to be losing a lot. So, I will be pushing making sure chores are done and helping me out so I'm not turning around to more messes. I love my kiddos but holy cow they are messy little creatures and unlike the chicken coop I can't just rake the stuff out and give it a good hosing down. Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind, I've been close many a time!! It still may happen, and don't think I won't post pics!! :) 

So that's it... I will update on how this all goes but at least I'm getting back where I need to be. We all slip or have a chance to just take a break and relax on things a bit, but eventually life needs to come back and this is my time to do so... I can't imagine I'm the only one that takes the start of school as a good time to revamp and get back on track, right?


  1. what are those cool pouches?? and where did you get them?

    my e-mail is really try to do make ahead stuff too....but sometimes the weekend gets away from me...

    1. They are nice, sometimes hard to close. There is a link just to the right of this post you just have to scroll a little. I found Amazon had the best price and, honestly I'm an amazon addict. Most of what I use I get off there. I'll email the link to you also. I don't know a mom that hasn't had a weekend get away from them. :) I am blessed to be able to have the weekdays to do a lot of what I need to if I need that.