I think everyone of us struggles occasionally with the “5:00 Panic” – you know, that dreaded moment when you realize that your family is going to be simply starving any minute now and you have no clue what in the world to feed them. In most households, these panic attacks usually end with feeding the masses cold cereal or takeout.
Uh huh. I’m wise to your tricks! You thought I didn’t know, huh?
Well, I know because I’ve been there. Not the cold cereal part because we don’t buy it anymore, but the takeout part. That I’ll admit we have succumbed to on occasion when dinner was not adequately planned.
As I mention ( kind of ad nauseum, to be honest) in my eBook, Your Grocery Budget Toolbox , I have discovered that the best (and really the only way) to avoid the 5:00 Panic (and the cold cereal) is to plan ahead.I know, I know. I wish I had an easier answer for you, but I don’t. Some things in life are worth the extra effort, and I have discovered that menu planning is one of those things.
In fact, since last fall, I have been regularly planning our meals a month at a time using Plan to Eat , and I cannot tell you what a relief it is to to have that mealtime guide as I go through the month. Sure, the plans change occasionally, especially the breakfast and lunch options. But I would be a lot more stressed out (I know because that’s how I used to be before I started menu planning!) if I didn’t have a plan.
I can totally understand, though, if menu planning is just not your thing: I’ve been there! I used to think it was pointless, since nine times out of ten, when I did plan a menu, we didn’t follow it! I felt like if I had enough staple grocery supplies in the house at all times I could just whip up any ol’ thing when it came time for dinner. Plus, I’m kind of a spontaneous girl in many ways, and the thought of having a menu plan seemed, well, rather rigid, to be honest.
Yeah, I had all kinds of excuses.
You, too? Then you may want to read Crystal’s (of Crystal and Co.) new eBook, “ How to Meal Plan: a Step By Step Guide”. It truly is a step-by-step guide to get you going on the path to menu planning freedom.
What I particularly love about Crystal’s book is the adorable printables that help you work through the menu-planning process. Not only does she offer you the standard menu planning chart, but she has worksheets that help you analyze your family’s needs and your own desires when it comes to cooking and meal planning. It’s not about what works for her, it’s about what works for you. She doesn’t just throw a calendar at you, and say, “Get busy planning!” No, she walks you through the process of determining how a menu plan would work best in your family and in your situation, and then how to trouble-shoot it when things go wrong.
Here’s the truly lovely thing: for the rest of the month (which is only like a week, so don’t relax now), you can get Crystal’s guide to meal planning for only $0.99. I think you can spare less than a buck to get some peace of mind at 5:00 for the rest of your life. Normally, it’s $5.99, which is still a good price, but for $0.99? Can’t be beat. And what do you have to lose?
I dare you. No, I triple dog dare you!Face 5:00 head on and kick that panic where it hurts!