I actually began this post yesterday on "Kitchen Day," and what I mean by that is, on Wednesdays I focus my "housekeeping energy" on the kitchen. This week I put a little extra effort in my cleaning, and it got me thinking about all the steps that are involved in running a family kitchen. I have all these steps listed on my daily chore cards, and though I don't do them all every week, I do have a routine that I stick to as closely as possible. Without it, I'd have a pretty messy kitchen and some pretty hungry kids!
Of course as I was cleaning (and thinking), a post started formulating ... so I took pictures as I worked and I thought I'd do that through the rest of the week, so I (we!) can take a closer look at my (and perhaps, your?) kitchen routines. :)
So on Wednesdays, I look through the food supply "spaces" (kitchen cabinets, fridge, freezer, pantry) and make note of what needs replacing. I start a shopping list in my small shopping notebook. And some weeks (but certainly not all) I give these spaces a thorough cleaning - vacuuming crumbs and wiping surfaces, allowing them to air dry before replacing (and re-organizing) the contents.
This is one of our food supply cabinets - it had some pretty old things collecting in its corners! (Valentine's candy, anyone?)
In here we store, from top to bottom:
Cereal (hot and cold), as well as Earlybird's cocoa rice bars. We keep them up here because he can't reach them and he would eat these all day long if we let him!
Crackers, cookies, croutons, peanut butter (Fluff/Nutella/Cookie Butter), applesauce and dried fruts.
Bread items, like rolls, sandwich bread, pita pockets, etc. (Some of the more perishable "whole grain" products move to the fridge in very hot weather.)
Once that space was tidied, I turned to the refrigerator ... and goodness, that was a mess!
The main section is now pretty much sorted and streamlined, but the stuff on the door is another matter, entirely ... for example, the expiration dates on some of the dressings? Yikes!
Next I took a look inside the freezer:
I got rid of some old stuff and voila, there was light! But those bags of frozen vegetables really need pruning - for a family that doesn't like peas, we sure have a lot of them!
So once I've finished cleaning the kitchen, I work a little more in my shopping notebook. I try to look at the pantry/fridge/freezer and see what can be used up and transformed into dinners.
I still use my marketing binder for coupon sorting and storage, but I found it a bit bulky for actual marketing. So currently I am using a small spiral-bound notebook for my grocery lists. I clip current coupons (ones that are soon to expire or match up with sales) onto the notebook page itself. The clip marks my place and holds my coupons (keeping them in sight, in mind).
(By the way, I can never have enough bulldog clips - I use them in all sizes!)
And here is my daily chore card on display ...
If you see at the bottom of my chore list for Wednesday, I have written, "organize trash and recycling." (Thursday is our trash collection day). Well, as you can see I had to table that task for a bit ...
And here is one more thing in my kitchen to show you - my little index card file box.
I'm not doing much with it currently, but I really like having it close at hand. Inside are multicolored index cards which I use in different ways. I love the idea of the SHE system, but can't seem to commit completely.
So that was yesterday's role in the overall kitchen routine. Today (Thursday) I am working on next week's dinner menu. On this day I prepare a new weekly planning folder, and take a look at the calendar - upcoming activities, events, celebrations, etc. Getting a feel for what the next week brings helps me plan dinners accordingly. Also, the sales flyers arrive in today's paper so I can look those over and add things to my shopping list (notes/coupons).
My actual shopping trip will take place either tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday morning. I try to go as early as possible in the day, before the crowds and the heat builds. I will do a post about the excursion, along with a little "shop talk" if you will. (Much like my "beauty shop" post, but this time listing preferred grocery items.) So stay tuned for that!
As always, you know I love to hear from you, so if you'd care to share your thoughts on kitchen routines (or anything!), please leave a comment below. Either way, I hope you all have a nice Thursday, and please take care of yourself and your loved ones...
I'll see you here again very soon!