Plan Ahead

Thrift Schooling
Meal Planning. Charts. Schedules. Lists. Planned Grocery Trips. Unplanned Grocery Runs. We all know the drill. Meals don't "just happen," and food does not magically "appear" on the table in front of us. Unfortunately, that is not what the "fast food" concept in America has taught us. Tired after a long day at work? Just stop by your local supermarket and pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Running late for a doctor's appointment with the kids? No problem, I'm pretty sure there is a Wendy's drive-thru on the way. Too tired and stressed to cook tonight? That's why the local pizza delivery number is on speed dial! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy eating meals out. As a family we enjoy going out for our birthday or for a treat once in a while. But I've heard it said, "what one generation does in moderation, the next will do in excess." We need to be careful how we treat eating out at restaurants because when we do, we are not only feeding our families bellies but molding behavioral patterns for a lifetime. If we teach our kids to order off the dollar menu simply because we can, what are they learning from this experience? Do they see it as a treat for "once in a while," or do they view it as a lifestyle. We need to teach them the difference between a luxury and necessity, and to be honest, no matter how many salads McDonald's offers, I want my children to understand that spending money at a fast food restaurant is a splurge, not the norm.

This is why meal planning is key. Even if it is just a week in advance. Setting aside money, time to organize meals and time to shop is all part of it. I try to plan each meal and snacks. There was a time when I would just plan dinner, but as a homeschooling mom, I am responsible for three meals a day for these kids. I try to make it fun by switching it up and getting the kids involved. I love having my kids help me in the kitchen. I know at times it can be frustrating to have many little hands getting into everything but the Bible says to "train up a child in the way he should go," and I firmly believe that this includes teaching our children how to prepare food for themselves!

Stay tuned as I want to keep you updated on some of my weekly meal planning ideas for our family.....

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