I’m so glad you’re back for Day 3- Meal Mapping. I have to be honest and say that this is not one of my favorite topics. Not at all. But it is an area that I feel like I’ve had a lot of growth in over the past year and I am certain it is an area that moms need more encouragement in.
Now let me explaining what I mean when I say meal mapping. Meal mapping is a general plan of what types of food you are able to cook on what days on the week. Remember the post from yesterday? If you didn’t get a chance to map out your chores yet with the days of the week, go back and read that post now and then use the free printable at the end of this post to map out your chores and your meals.
Meal Mapping is not planning the specific meal. That is way too specific for me and I don’t want to be locked into something. I am a 1 on the enneagram but that type of routine is too strict for me.
My meal map is a lot like the process I go through to align my chores with the days of the week. Here’s how you can write out your own meal map:
Make a list of the days of the week.
Make a list of all the general meals that your family likes to eat.
Assign the meals to the days of the week that you can reasonably cook them. If Tuesdays are a busy day for you, then you want to plan something you can throw in the crock pot. If Wednesday nights are busy, you should plan to hit the drive thru that night or plan something quick like fish sticks in the oven.
When I sat down to make my list there were a few decisions I had to make.
I had to decide that I was going to give myself grace when it came to planning new and exciting meals. My family has their favorite meals and it’s okay if we eat those every week. Giving myself grace in this area means I know they like what’s for dinner that night and it also means I don’t have to spend extra money on new ingredients or spend time researching a new soup recipe.
There are a few non-negotiables for our family. There are certain things I will buy organic, if it’s available, so I try to make sure those things (usually vegetables) are worked into most meals in the week. It doesn’t mean we have a fresh veggie every night for dinner. But I can look at the week and have some peace of mind because I know we did 4 out of the 7 nights because I planned it that way.
When it comes to my meal map, it’s super generic. Thursday says OVEN. It’s the night I pop something in the oven like chicken strips, fish sticks or pizza. It’s Alivea’s ballet night and I know I won’t have time to stand in front of the stove. When I go grocery shopping that week I know I need to buy something quick that I can cook in the oven. I also like to serve a warm and cozy meal on Sunday nights so I have soup, stew or chili written down on my meal map. So when I go to the grocery store I purchase the items I need to make soup or stew or chili.
This meal map has helped me immensely. It gives me just enough structure and routine to make my life run smoothly but also gives me some space to breathe and adjust and be creative.
I created a printable Chore + Meal map for you. You can download it here. I hope you’ll use it to set some routine and get your house in order heading into the school year.