I feel like the struggle to get back into a routine in 2021 has been really hard, but what keeps me sane is to knock out my “chores” on the weekend so that I can pivot in whatever direction the upcoming week needs me to go.
In order for me to kick off the week on the right foot, here are the three things I do every weekend (preferably on Saturdays so that there’s still time for a little fun before the weekend is over).
1. Make a Meal Plan
This has been an absolute game changer for me. I look at the calendar for the week and plan out our dinners for Sunday through Thursday. This has relieved so much stress–avoiding the 5 p.m. crunch of having to wing something is EVERYTHING! It’s also been good for keeping us out of the dinnertime rut where we eat the same things every week.
I’ve shared this before, but I use a free printable template from Day Designer to make my meals plans, but any two-column piece of paper will work. On one side I write down the days of the week and what we’ll be having, and on the other side I make my grocery list for what I need to pull those things off.
Sometimes just dreaming up the dinners is the hard part, but my favorite websites for inspiration are: Skinnytaste, Erin Lives Whole, and AllRecipes. I’ve also been adding a Fresh Midwest Meal Kit into my plan once or twice a month when I want to make dinner, but don’t want to have to work that hard doing it. The Meal Kit box comes with everything you need to make the dinner you choose, and if you enter AMS25 at checkout, you’ll get $25 off your first order. The Chicken Pot Pie and Wildfire Chopped Salad have been my family’s favorites.
2. Shop for Groceries for the Whole Week
For me it’s the huge jobs that I have to do every week that are just exhausting. Grocery shopping is so at the top of this list, especially now with all of my kids home. (My football playing boys eat all. the. time!!)
Saturdays always start with me cleaning out the fridge to see what we need (and yes, it’s usually everything!). I add these items to the grocery list I’ve already started with my meal plan.
Then I do something pretty controversial, I Instacart the entire list. This may sound crazy given that I work from home, but this has saved me endless headaches and impulse purchases. I’m convinced that what I pay in fees for this service, I’ve actually saved by only buying what is on my list. Instacart was such a huge help during the worst of the Covid shutdown, and it continues to be a total lifesaver for me. Some have asked me how reliable the shoppers are at picking produce and I think that in all the months I’ve been doing this, there’s been maybe two or three times where I didn’t get exactly what I was looking for. Some of these shoppers now know me, and will call from Costco to double check that they’re buying the right thing.
If you’re struggling to get it all done, Instacart may be just the service you’re missing. I may need to pop into a grocery store once during the week for another gallon of milk or some eggs, but otherwise I’m really done with groceries until the next weekend rolls around.
3. Do All the Laundry
I wish I could do what my mom did and do laundry every day, but my house just isn’t set up for this (We don’t have a laundry room. Our washer and dryer is in a small hallway between our kitchen and garage, so there’s no space to put clean laundry until I can fold and iron it.) So come Saturdays, the hampers are filled to the ceiling and my girls, Jimmy (he folds socks and underwear), and I just power through washing, folding, ironing, and putting it away. It’s a job we hate, but we get it done and don’t have to think about it until next weekend. Any time I don’t get my laundry done on the weekend, it literally sets me back days. I have no idea why. So on the weekend, laundry is a non-negotiable–it must get done!
Having these big three chores out of the way before the week starts is the best feeling. Then on Monday, my sweet cleaning ladies come–and by Monday night, my house is spotless, dinner is underway, the refrigerator is full, and the laundry is all put away. Heaven!
These are just little tips that work for me. I’d love to know how you set yourself up for a great week.