Welcome back to the ORGANIZED Work-At-Home Challenge! You can find the beginning of this challenge *here*
If you’ve been following along these past two weeks, you already know how I like to focus on different home tasks each day of the week. Today I’m going to cover two of my weekdays during this post, Errand Day and Cooking Day.
So, perhaps it’s just me, but shopping trips exhaust me. Even if I’m only out for an hour, when I get back home, it’s really hard for me to jump back into my day where I left off. Leaving the home always throws my routine out of whack. Because of this, I try to go grocery shopping as infrequently as I can. Usually, that’s about every other week, which tends to be good for my to-do-list as well as my budget. The weeks in-between usually fill up with some other errand (dr’s appointments, sending off Amazon shipments, etc). If it doesn’t, I can choose to stay home that day or do a more recreational, treasure-hunting Goodwill trip or something.
I time my trip to when my husband is home so he can stay home with the baby while he naps. Then I grab the shopping list I put together on Office Day and go!
Aldi’s always my first destination. It’s really easy for a non-couponer (like I am) to save tons of money just by doing the bulk of my shopping at that amazing store. Any spare items they don’t carry, I pick up at Wal-Mart. You can find out more about how I save money shopping here.
When I do finally get home, I keep my to-do-list short. After the groceries are unloaded and put away, it’s dishes, laundry, and a quick pick-up and I’m done with my day. It’s also a great day for a crock-pot meal, a freezer dinner, or something easy like Tacos or Spaghetti.
So, that’s Errand Day. The next day that usually follows is Cooking Day, one of my favorites.
It’s the day when you get to lay hold of all the pretty groceries you bought the day before and prep them for all the delicious dinners that lie ahead! Look ahead in your menu plan and see what can be marinated, pre-chopped, or even made completely (and frozen if necessary) for the following week. It’s like once-a-month-cooking but on a smaller scale (once-a-week-cooking?). Don’t stop at dinner. Think about breakfast too. I commonly pre-mix our pancake mix so I just have to spoon it into the pan the next several mornings. Trust me, an hour or two on Cooking Day makes a huge difference in streamlining your meals for the rest of the week! That way when 5pm rolls around and both the kids are cranky after a long day, I can just toss the pre-chopped veggies together and heat up dinner.
Cooking Day is also a good time to make any from-scratch mixes you like to do. This page is an amazing one-stop resource for making ANYTHING from scratch you can think of (from tortillas to biscuits to taco mix). I visit it often. If you’re interested in following my pinterest board where I keep all my from-scratch recipes, you can find that here.
If you have time, you can also use this day to make something fun, like cookies or pie! Share the cookie dough with your kids (yes, we are unashamed dough-eaters) and get them involved with the measuring and pouring. Gabriel loves to have a taste of every single ingredient I cook with. A taste of flour, a taste of brown sugar, a taste of salt, a bit of oats… I think it’s a great way for him to learn about the world!
So your challenge for Day #13 is to make a list of everything you can realistically pre-make on Cooking Day. This might be as vague as ‘Pre-chop dinner ingredients’ or as specific as ‘make homemade granola and biscuit mix’. It’s up to you and the way your family runs things. The important thing is to get dinner time thought of ahead of time so you can avoid that last-minute, stressful scrambling to get something (anything!) edible on the table.
Can you believe we’ve begun the LAST week of this challenge already? I hope you’ve been enjoying yourself half as much as I have. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s last post on my weekday organization. Then we’re going to be polishing up our DAILY routines!