Managing a Family of Nine: Food
Thank goodness that managing a family of nine didn’t just happen overnight! I am so glad that children come along one at the time, at least most of the time. I was raised as an only child and really had no responsibility except to clean my room (which I didn’t do very well) and make great grades. That did not prepare me for managing a large household. Granted, I did extremely well in Law School and I have the confidence to homeschool my children that may be a result of my education, but I believe any caring parent could do the latter.
I have never really been organized by nature. I would much much rather be painting a picture, creating a new song on the piano, writing, or creating beautiful and tasty dishes in the kitchen and photographing them than paying bills, keeping inventory in business, filing important papers, and the list goes on. I see the absolute necessity now in being organized in that managing home is my third priority after loving God then my husband and children. Really, nothing can get done efficiently if I fall short on managing my home.
Well, that brings me to the first part of this “series” of things that I have learned that have helped me throughout the years in managing my home and family. One of the largest challenges in any family is putting food on the table. I cook TWENTY-SEVEN MEALS A DAY. This is very time consuming, but can be an excellent time to enjoy my kids.
For me to homeschool and to write books and to do all that “business” that I have to do at home, I HAVE TO BE AT HOME. I try to go to the grocery store as little as possible. When my kids were smaller I was able to get by without going on my major shopping trip but once a month with a little planning. I could get bread, milk, and a few other things every two weeks or so.
As I continued to have children and my children started eating a larger amount, I have had to change that to once a week. Our family now grows most of our food or harvests it from the wild, but I still need milk, paper goods, drinks, and a few other things.
I have come up with a simple (very rustic) list that has helped me tremendously. I keep a folder with all of my charts in it along with a master chart. I will share those in later posts.
I have a regular shopping day on Thursdays, therefore I spend about an hour or so making a menu plan Thursday morning for the following week. I use the back of the chart to make a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you are using recipes from a cookbook, write the name of the cookbook and the page the recipe is on next to the menu item. I include any leftovers that I think we will have. As I make my menu, I write the ingredients on the front of the page in the category that they belong.
The great thing about this system is that you never have to run out to get something. You have planned the entire week and you do not have to think, “What are we going to have for lunch today.” You go straight to your menu list and it is all right at your fingertips. If you have old enough children, you can assign one of the them a certain day of the week. They will learn to manage meals for a family and they will learn how to cook and serve others.
If this post has been any help at all to you, please share it. Also, feel free to share any of your organizational or managing tips that have helped you!! I would love to hear them and I believe many others will as well.