Meal planning. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to organization and keeping my home running smoothly, this is the area I struggle the most with. I’d start out strong and then inevitably by mid-week I’ve decided I didn’t want chicken pot pie for dinner, I ran out of salad, and all of a sudden the rolls for lunch disappeared.
I was talking to a friend recently and I thought her meal planning strategy was genius - don’t label which day you’re going to make the food, just choose your foods for the week and go from there! I have been building on this strategy for a few months now, and with the help of a whiteboard inside my pantry, I can confidently say dinner time has become less stressful, less wasteful, and when it’s time to go shopping, my refrigerator is actually pretty empty. It may be obvious to some, but as I mentioned, meal planning has always, always been a struggle for me.
To start a successful meal planning journey (yes, I am calling it a journey because it took me years to get to this point!!) take the following steps:
Maximize The Minimum Baby Gear
When I first found out I was pregnant, I started checking out baby gear. WOW, there are so, so many things for babies and kids. I created a registry (mostly for ourselves - sign up everywhere you might want something! Most offer discounts for “completion”!), and then took a few months off of looking in my second trimester and started panicking in my third - the analysis paralysis was overwhelming to me. So many moms I had spoken to said, “You don’t need much.” One even said forgo the changing table all together and just change them on the floor. While that sounded like a great money-saving trick, I wanted a changing surface, and, with a huge Labrador retriever, floor changes weren’t going to work for us.
While I’ll go much deeper into this in posts down the road, here are a few items that I would highlight that make a great “starter set” of baby gear, while also trying to keep the clutter to a minimum. We knew that we wanted to have two or more kids (the more is still a maybe, ha!). So we bought with multiple kids in mind.