Twenty-Eight Meals

Starting in January I will go from 20 hrs/week to 32 hrs/week. I’ve been 20 hrs a week ever since Calvin has been born and I’m definitely ready to increase. However, the work reason I’m increasing is we’ll be doing a major migration of the integrated library system (catalog) next fall and I need to work more to get ready for it. My tentative idea is to get up around 6 each day, work until it’s time to get Calvin up. Then I’ll take a break for breakfast, drop Calvin off at school, and then work some more until it’s time to pick Calvin up. In addition, I plan to stop doing regular work on Sunday and instead switch back to a traditional Monday-Friday schedule1.

My biggest concern at the moment is where I’m going to fit household tasks in. Right now, Monday is my “day off” and I use it to pay bills, balance the checkbook, run household errands, etc. I’ll be switching that to Sunday. Right now, after I finish work on Sundays I usually sit down and prepare my menu for the week and then go grocery shopping. This takes a ridiculous amount of time. I can easily spend an hour meal planning and then a couple hours shopping. In preparation for my hours increasing, I decided I should see if I could streamline meal planning and shopping.

This weekend I came up with 28 meals that I hope can be repeated without wearing them out too fast. You can see it here. I also wrote down every single ingredient needed for the meal and then sorted the ingredients by location in the store2. This way, when I’m making my grocery list, I can see what ingredients I need to buy for the week and put them on my list in the correct order. Since I grocery shop on Sunday, I have each week go from Monday-Sunday so I always have ingredients for the current days meal on hand3.

I’m not sure if this menu plan will work out or not. Nor, am I sure what this will do to our grocery bill. However, hopefully my scheme works out well.

  1. This will actually be the first time in my professional career where I don’t work Sundays. I started working most Sundays as a reference librarian to compensate for never working Saturdays. Others viewed Sundays as less popular to work because you only work 4 hrs so you had to make up the additional 4 hrs some other way. As a result, the other librarians were very amenable to me never working Saturdays since I took the dreaded Sunday rotation off everyone else’s schedule. When I transferred to IT, I was use to working Sundays and since we’re closed Sunday mornings, it was a great time to do server maintenance
  2. The Indian meals use a huge number of spices so ingredients list looks intimidating but most of them are relatively fast to put together. Since Jaeger likes Indian food so much I have a special spice carousel dedicated to Indian spices.
  3. Worst case, this allows me to wait to grocery shop till Calvin is in bed. I used home delivery for a while but had trouble getting my orders in. I’m not convinced I want to go back to home delivery, sometimes I had trouble getting them to delivery exactly what I wanted, but this meal plan should make it easier either way.

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