You've been meal planning like a maven, happily skipping along from meal to meal, when something external effects your life, and everything spirals out of control...you or someone in your family gets sick, an unexpected pregnancy, an out-of-the-blue job loss, the death of someone close to you, car accident...it's hard to imagine looking at your calendar, much less creating a meal plan.
Been there, done that. Following are a few ideas to help you jump the hurdles. If you've been there, done that, too, please share what you did/are doing to keep on moving on.
1. Consider cooking extra meals when times are easy. If you have a deep freezer or somewhere to store ready-to-go meals, plan ahead to make a double batch of whatever you're making. Some meals that freeze well include lasagne, chili, and meat sauce.
2. Cook more than one. When we cook whole chickens we usually cook 3 at a time. This gives us lots of leftover cooked chicken that freezes very well and can be used for quick dinner options, like wraps, soups, stir-fries, fried rice, or sandwiches.
3. Give yourself permission to order out. Sometimes the only thing you can do is pick up the phone and call for pizza. That's ok. If your budget allows for it, let it happen.
4. Ask for help. Sometimes it's hard to admit you can't do it all, but believe me, no one can do it all, all the time. Everyone needs help sometime. People looking in from the outside often want to help, but don't know what they can do. Give them a list, or ask them for something specific- buy groceries, make a meal, pick up diapers/toilet paper, etc.
I hope this helps. What can you add to the list?