As a busy mom, I know that preparing for week can save me lots of time (and crying and tantrums and other fun toddler related entertainment) and money. I spend a few hours on Sunday night making sure everyone has clean clothes, lunches and other needs for the week. This helps me save money (my husband and I are not running through the drive-thru constantly or buying things out) and I don’t spend my mornings trying to keep both kids clothed, fed and in clean diapers while I struggle to get my toddler to preschool.
I also spend a little time cleaning up the house. I have been working hard to keep some semblance of order during the week, but there is never enough time during the week to really clean the house.
So every Sunday, once everyone is in bed (hubby included) I plan two hours of week preparation and mild cleaning. Whatever doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done, but I have found that this has helped me immensely during the week.
Here is my bounty from last Sunday night – 9 mason jar salads, 1 deli sandwich, 7 crustless pb&j sandwiches, and 9 baggies of apples. I was able to use the last of the produce from 4th of July weekend, and still provided healthy meals for everyone.
The mason jar salads are simple – dressing on the bottom, veggies, then meats (I used sliced deli meat leftover from the sandwiches I made for everyone over the holiday week) with lettuce on top. They last about 5 days and the lettuce is crisp if it doesn’t touch the dressing.
My daughter is also a creature of habit – she only likes pb&j sandwiches and chicken. In order to have quick lunches for her, I create my own version of the Smuckers frozen sandwiches. I found this handy tool to seal and cut the sandwiches, and I can bang out a whole bunch of them at once. I am also able to use whole wheat bread, almond butter and organic jelly – which may not make them cheaper than the commercial versions, but I have better control over what my daughter eats. If I want to get fancy, I substitute the jelly for some of my son’s purees (broccoli apple is a favorite) so she gets a little more veggies.
I pre-cut the apples so she always has a ziploc full. And when I think about it, I try to pre-portion big bags of almonds into toddler servings to throw in her bag as well. Now it takes me three minutes to create a healthy lunch for her on busy mornings.
I also spent time cleaning our living room and doing a deep clean on the kitchen (stove burner trays, etc), it is just nice to wake up to a clean kitchen, especially when all the items I need for my homemade smoothies and cappuccino are all ready to go.