When do you decide what to serve for dinner? Some people plan menus a week or month at a time. That's a great idea, but not always possible. At the very least, make your dinner decision early. It saves so much frustration later.
Bonnie McCullough, author of Totally Organized, recommends the ten o'clock rule: If you'll be home during the day, make your decision by 10:00 A.M. If you plan to be away, make the decision by 10 P.M. the night before. The longer you wait to decide what to fix, the fewer your choices. So much of life revolves around the purchase preparation, consumption, and cleanup of food. Basic organization can simplify your process. Cooking isn't really difficult-you can fix many meats and casseroles in an hour or less. It's the planning that is the important part.
McCullough says that planning meals ahead saves more time and frustration. It can save money too! When you're still deciding at 5:30 P.M. what to have for dinner you often end up going out to eat, not because you like the food or feel like going out, but because you're not organized. And you end up spending all the money at the restaurant that you saved by canning last summer.
If you're going to be away all day, leave a note and simple instructions, so your spouse or children can get dinner started. Make it easy for others to help you.
Take time to implement the ten o'clock rule. It can prevent tension and will save you money and time.
Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.