Running Smoothly– Requested by Audrey :)

So, lately, I’ve been planning meals ahead of time and prepping everything on Sunday. Last Sunday, I overslept for church, so I had a little more time. This week, I woke up early and immediately put a load of clothes in the washer. Then, I headed downstairs to load up the dishwasher. That way, these things can be running while I am doing the other chores that need to be done. I then wiped off my counter tops and dusted, so that when I vacuum all of the debris is taken care of. Then, I run the vacuum. I don’t sweep my floors anymore because it just makes the dog hair fly around. After I vacuumed, I mop(Today, it happened after church). Then, I’m pretty much done.

Then, I went to church. On my way home, I took my list, and grabbed the few things I needed for the week. I shop only at Publix or stores that do buy one get one free deals and sales. My fruits and veggies are those that are on sale for the week. This week, I spent $55, and saved almost $12. So, I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth. I’m also trying to make sure that the things I buy can be used in more than one meal.  Also, I know it sounds weird, but the Dollar Tree near my house has many canned goods and dried goods that are double the price at other stores. So, I always check there for deals.

Then, I head home and unload the groceries. I put away things that need to be frozen;Like the chicken breasts that were on sale this week. Then, I unload the dishwasher, so I can reload as I prepare things. Then, I take out my menu. Monday, we are having hamburger helper and collard greens. We have ground beef in the freezer and collards in the freezer, so I pull those out. That’s the only prep I need for those. The actual cooking will be done tomorrow, and the greens can be microwaved. Tuesday, we are having BBQ pork. We had leftovers in the freezer, so I’ll just cook it in the crock-pot and we’ll eat that with coleslaw. Wednesday, we are having club sandwiches and leftover coleslaw. We instated sandwich Wednesdays at the end of the last school year, and I think we are going to reinstate that. It’s a quick and easy meal, and leaves it open to a constant variety. Thursday, we will have beef tips and mushrooms cooked in the crock-pot. I have 2, so I have just prepped both and placed in the fridge until the morning that I need them. I will serve the beef tips (cooked with seasonings and a gravy packet and 1c of water) with wild mushroom cous-cous and California mixed veggies. It’s a light meal, that requires very little attention. Finally, on Friday, we will have make your own pizzas. I have leftover mushrooms from Thursday’s meal, bell peppers (left over from my lunches), pepperoni (left over from Miles’ football snacks), and black olives (left over from the tacos we are having tonight.) Tonight’s dinner is chicken tacos and I cooked those last.

After I prep dinners, then I move on to lunches. I’ve decided to try and eat more fruits and veggies, so my lunch is only that and yogurts. This week, I added some cheese. I came home and washed the broccoli,  peppers and celery.  Then,  I get out my lunch container and begin my chopping. I cut the entire bunch of celery and store it in a tupperware container in water. It stays really crisp, and it’s ready when I’m looking for a snack. I then chop my peppers only a couple at a time to keep them as fresh as possible. Then, I start adding veggies to my container. Broccoli, bell peppers, celery, and carrots are what’s for lunch this week. I also sliced a couple tomatoes. I cut up a cantaloupe and  put some in a container for myself. Again, another something to snack on that’s ready when I need it. Then, I add my yogurts and some grapes and an apple I have leftover from last week.

Last week, I was so pleased that all the big dishes were done, and I only had to run the dishwasher once all week. Also, I didn’t have to scramble in the mornings to throw things together, and I’m being more thoughtful about what I am actually eating and the nutrients I’m getting. It’s been a wonderful change. I’ve had more time to do devotions before bed, exercise a couple of mornings, and spend some real time with my family instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Also, most nights, dinner is done when I come in. There is nothing like the smell of dinner cooking as you walk into the house.

I really like cooking, but I love having all the hard work done. I know many families struggle with the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma and want to make healthier choices for their families. I’ve been kinda thinking about doing a dinner service, providing a menu selection  for the week, and doing the shopping and prep work, and delivering the meals. It would be like a “take and bake” or throw in the crock-pot kinda thing. But, I haven’t worked out the logistics of it, or who would even be interested in it.

Meanwhile, I am still praying constantly. The prayer of Jabez is still my morning prayer, and it just makes me feel so good. I am so at peace 5 weeks into our school year, and I can only explain it by grace. He is with me. He is helping me in my new stress free kind of living, and I am loving it. I have never had such a close relationship with Him before and I feel a difference in myself. I hope that I am showing His light through me.

Have a blessed week everyone. I hope this helps!

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