By the time a woman dies, she will have spent approximately 1,938,485 hours in her kitchen.
Okay, I completely made that up, but 3 meals per day, times 7 days per week, times 52 weeks per year…well, you get the idea!
Meals are a huge part of a homemaker’s life. Whether you love cooking or hate it, you need to make peace with it, because the responsibility isn’t going away any time soon. It’s one of those non-negotiable things.
Our families want to eat. 3 times a day.
Because meals are such a huge part of a homemaker’s life, it can easily make or break the peace in our homes. Mamas, we need to master this.
The secret to mastering mealtime
The good news is that in order to master mealtime, we don’t need to become gourmet chefs. Your cooking skills can be completely average and still provide a peaceful home. In fact, Proverbs 15:17 tells us,
Better a small serving of vegetables with love, than a fattened calf with hatred.
Your family would rather have a simple meal prepared with love and served with joy, than a fancy meal and a grumpy mama.
You can do this and the secret is amazingly simple…plan ahead.
When I found the photo above, I was immediately struck by the joy on the woman’s face. This woman is peaceful and content. She finds joy in serving her family.
I don’t know anything about this woman, but I can tell you this–she had a plan.
This woman did not procrastinate and run into her kitchen at 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, throwing around frozen meat and vegetables.
I know this isn’t the first you’ve heard about meal planning, but I want to tell you a few things you might not know:
- It will save you money. Being intentional about your meals saves you money. It decreases the amount of food wasted, helps you work with sales and your pantry, and it helps you plan for busy nights to eliminate eating out.
- It doesn’t have to be complicated. Your meal plan can be as detailed or as general as you like. You might plan every meal for 2 weeks at a time, or you might just wing it for some meals, but sit down on Sunday night and plan your dinners for the week. Maybe you evaluate the night before and decide what you’ll eat. You might even practice freezer-cooking and prepare complete meals in advance. It can be as detailed or relaxed as you want, as long as it works for you. [Learn how to meal plan]
- It will bring peace to your home. Yes, I will make that bold statement. Meal planning can bring added peace to your home.
There is no one size fits all method to anything, but if you aren’t planning at all, there is probably stress involved at some point in the process, either in deciding what to eat or actually preparing it. I said above that any type of meal planning is fine as long as it works for you. Is your current system working for you? If you’re stressed about mealtime, maybe consider trying a different system.
In addition to having a plan in advance, there are some other things we can do to bring peace to our meals.
- Give yourself enough time. This goes hand in hand with planning, but you need to be sure that you are allowing yourself enough time at meal times to do everything that needs to be done without feeling rushed, hurried, or stressed (those things bring on grumpy mama and we don’t like her–nothing kills the peace in your home like grumpy mama!)
- Family Dinners. It is so important to take that time to connect with your family. Even if you are busy and running all day long, make it a point to stop, sit down, relax, and eat dinner together.
- Involve the whole family. Yes, I do the cooking. However, the entire family should be involved in the process. My boys help with washing/drying dishes sometimes. They help with prep-work as they are able. They set the table and clear the table. There are many things your kids can do. These small chores teach them responsibility, and also provide a time of working together. Your children may need some encouragement at first, but it’s worth the effort.
- Eat better foods. Okay, I’m still working on this one myself, but I truly believe that eating better quality foods–real food instead of processed junk–is helpful in so many ways to our families.
- Effective Meal Planning
- Why we don’t eat out
- Tips to avoid eating out
- Printable Meal Planning Sheets (many more options to be found with a quick pinterest search)
- Sample Meal Plans from 100 days of real food
If you’re still apprehensive about planning meals, this giveaway will be perfect. I am giving away a 90 day subscription to She Plans Dinner. Get menu plans, recipes, and grocery lists.