A Full Pantry

So, yesterday I went to the Big City for an optometrist appointment. I love my clinic, everyone is so nice & they always seem to be on time! Good for me, my eyes are nice & healthy so I was on my way to do the giant grocery run.

I discovered the idea of serious meal planning about a year ago. I used to just throw a meal together with whatever was in the pantry & run to the store for the missing pieces. Then we moved out to the country & that became a non-option. I struggled through the first year & then discovered a cookbook, more like a lifestyle, called Cooking for the Rushed. Here’s her website: http://www.cookingfortherushed.com/ Sandi Richard advocates advance planning with grocery lists & everything. I love her idea. Not so big on her “weekly menus”, but I can pick & choose from the book and still make it work. If you are always doing the “AGGGGH! What’s for dinner?” dance, check this woman out. She also has a show on the Food Network.

Anyways, back to meal planning. I was out to a friend’s house for supper one night, two months ago & on her fridge was an entire MONTH of meals, all planned out. Now, I am a super-duper planner, but I had never taken it to that extreme. So, last month I tried it. Planned an entire month, including days for leftovers, take-out, Easter at Mother’s and Pizza Friday. It took the stress of making supper from a 5 (which was 11 before meal planning a year ago) to about a 2.5! What a difference. I think I have found the key to working full time. Well, maybe not the key, but at least a new coping tool.

It took 1 and three quarter hours and $230.00, but I now have a pantry that is stuffed full of food for an entire month. I’ll have to do a bit of fresh shopping for milk & appples, but that is it. I can’t explain it, but a full pantry makes me feel safe. Protected. Accomplished as a mother. I am anxious when we run out of anything, so you can be sure there’s a ketchup in the fridge and one more in the pantry. I actually laughed at the checkout counter when the total came up (after $32 in coupons) and said “Is that it? Right on!” I think the store thought I was nutty, but I was shocked. It looked like way closer to $300, so I am stocked up & thrilled.

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