Time Saving Tips for Planning Meals
In our closed group on Facebook, we hear time and time again how caregivers are faced with times of overwhelm, barely keeping their heads above water. And suddenly it happens, WHAM! Their bodies have given up, and they have become so ill, they are now faced with the who will take care of them and their loved ones?
We know all too well that self-care can be challenging to maintain, but too often, not finding a way to practice will result in a life-altering outcome that is difficult to come back from. Planning as much as possible is paramount because waiting for another day to do so may be too late.
Meal planning may not seem to be the first thought when it comes to self-care, but it really can be a time and stress saver! How many times has the conversation come up about what to have for dinner. With the all too often reply, “I don’t know, what do you want?”
Here are some creative ideas to help:
I love having a binder (yes and old fashioned paper-filled binder) that I can easily refer to. I have food intolerances, most of which I know, but from time to time, it’s nice to have as an easy point of reference, and I have them at the beginning for quickly referencing. It’s a perfect place to maintain those lists for you and your loved ones.
Think about the season and what you can pull into the meal planning with fresh ingredients. Fall is a perfect time for soups made with fresh vegetables, and roasting them can make an excellent side dish!
I love this website from Saveur that talks about seasonal produce, how to buy, store, and recipes all in one place! I print out the ones I like and add them to my recipe book for easy referencing.
Sit down on a quiet evening or perhaps even while waiting at the doctor’s office and start to map out Sunday – Saturday with meal prep ideas. Doing so allows you to put a shopping list in place so that you can shop one time and have everything you need. I have a list in the front of my binder for staples (onions, almond milk, spices, etc.) that I go through while composing my list, which helps ensure that one item doesn’t get missed to send you running back to the grocery store.
Don’t be afraid to look at grocery delivery services in your area. When you’re in a time pinch, some of these can make a significant difference for you.
It’s really about planning, as best you can, to help ease the stress of daily life as a family caregiver. Anything that you can do to make things just a little bit easier helps give you much-needed stress relief.