Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heart of the Homemaker Series: Kayse

Welcome to Day 3 of the Heart of the Homemaker Series!  Today's guest blogger is Kayse from Finding Hope.  Kayse is an organizing wonder, a sweet Christian wife and mom, and, {my favorite part} she lives across the street from me.  Such an unexpected blessing arose last August when my Handsome Man and I moved to a new town--only to find out that one of our old orchestra friends from college was going to be moving to the same area the very next day.  Isn't it amazing how God works?  Just when I was about to have a baby and begin the journey of being a stay-at-home mom, He provided a friend to encourage me along the way, provide helpful tips, and become my exercise buddy.  Oh yes, we get our exercise in several days a week by stroller-walking to Target.  It's a rough life.

Please be sure to stop by Finding Hope and share some homemaker love!

Hi!  I'm so excited to be posting here at Happy Homemaker Me today!  I'm Kayse, a work-from-home teacher, wife to my musician Hubby, and mommy to my sweet Emily Ann.  You can usually find me over at Finding Hope, where I write about real-life stuff like faith, easy recipes, living happily on a budget, and fishing baby poop out of the bathtub (something I'm sure has never happened to you, right?  Stop on by anytime!

I'm a big believer in being well acquainted with your strengths and weaknesses.  So when Bethany asked me to write for this Heart of the Homemaker series, I almost told her that I wasn't the woman she was looking for.

You see, I'm great at some parts of homemaking, primarily the brownie baking and eating parts.  But there are quite a few areas where I could use some improvement.  For example, laundry, dishes, house-cleaning, and especially vacuuming.  You know, just a few minor areas.  No big deal.

So I wracked my brain for something inspirational to share with you all.  Because I really do believe that homemaking is part of every woman's God-given purpose.  Call me anti-feminist if you will, but I think it's a true privilege to be charged with creating and maintaining the home where your husband and children will grow, create memories, and share love.

See?  I can be inspirational. ;)

Anyways, while I believe all those things wholeheartedly, I am also well aware that I have quite a bit of growing to do in these areas.  {Namely cleaning...there's a reason I won't be talking about that today!}  So today I'm going to share with you the one aspect of homemaking that I actually do well.

It's a task that requires resourcefulness, creativity, and organization.  It shapes the entirety of your month, and has the ability to literally save hundreds of dollars.  Without even clipping a single coupon {although I'm a big fan of coupons, and highly recommend them}!  Guess what it is?

Meal Planning. :)

Now, I'm well aware that this is not a new concept.  However, I'm always surprised at how many people talk about it but don't actually put it into action.  So here's how I meal plan, and why I do it.  I'm hoping it will give you just that little boost you need to invigorate your kitchen with a little organization.

At the beginning of the month, I sit down with my Home Management Notebook, whip out my Meal Planning Calendar, and get to work.  I take a look at my freezer, my pantry, and my sale ads and start creating menus.  I have found that it's easiest for us if I plan every single dinner, complete with side-dishes, for each night.  Then, for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, I just have a working list that I pull from depending on how we feel each day.  I try to look at the sale ads, see what's on sale, and go from there.  I also try to choose recipes, for the most part, that can have any kind of meat.  That way, even though I'm planning for a month at a time, I can use whatever meat was on sale at the store this week.  Sneaky? Nope - resourceful! :)

You can see my Meal Planning Calendar here on the right.  I have each day of the month labeled with a number, a space to write the day of the week, and then a large space for each night's dinners!  On the opposite side, I have lists for Breakfasts, Lunches, and Snacks.  I try to write down as many healthy options as I can, so that when I'm hungry I have a great resource to go to, instead of just pulling another brownie out of the pan. (Mmmmm...brownies...)

Honestly, you can do this by the week or the month - whatever suits your family best.  I personally prefer planning by the month because then I sit down once and it's done.  I just have to create a shopping list and go!  And every Monday, I share the upcoming week's Meal Plan on my blog.  That way, I'm held accountable, and I'm able to share recipes and ideas with others!  Win-win. :)

So here's what a typical week might look like...

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken over Rice, with Corn

Veggie Bake, with Toasted Bread

Taco Salad {using leftover CPM Chxn from Monday}

Cheddar & Cracker Chicken with Green Beans

Date Night! {Every Friday} :)

Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas


Breakfast Ideas: Oatmeal, Eggo Waffles, Eggs and Cheese, Cereal, Pancakes
Lunch Ideas: Lunch Meats, Grilled Cheese, Soup, Trader Joe's Taquitos, Quesadilla
Snack Ideas: Granola Bars, LF String Cheese, Cuties, Grapes, Bananas, Yogurt

A few tips...
  1. If you save your meal plans each month, you can rotate entire months of plans back in, corresponding with store sales!
  2. Make sure you plan meats according to what is on sale.  Meats are almost always the most expensive.
  3. Coupons are your friends.  They make it fun to stand in the checkout line forever, waiting to see just.how.much you saved!
I'm hoping it's obvious to you that I don't claim to be Susie B. Homemaker. :)  But as a follower of Christ, I do feel a responsibility to steward well the roles He has given me.  Meal Planning is one way I can feel responsible, actually be well organized, and provide for my family in a unique way.  It's a great way to catch deals, be a little creative in the kitchen, and feed my little family well.

Thanks for letting me share with you today!  I'd love for you to stop on by Finding Hope any day, but especially Mondays, when we link up our Meal Plans for the week!  Hope to see you over there soon!! :)  And a special thanks to Bethany, who, I'm sure you agree, is about to give Ms. Martha Stewart a run for her money. ;)


1 comment:

  1. So what I need! I am horrible at meal planning! One of those people you mentioned who talks about it but doesn't do it. :o) But you've inspired me! Thank you!


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