meal planning and parking tickets

I can’t believe how well it’s going with meal planning, something I literally never did before becoming a mom.

Once every 7-10 days, I sit down with my computer after E is sleeping and place my Amazon Fresh order. I start with staples by quickly clicking through past purchases. Then I find 3 recipes to make for the week. Either I find them buried somewhere in my gmail or I search for something specific on sites like www.yummytoddlerfood.com or www.momtastic.com or regular recipe sites or my sister D’s resources for meal planning. I order the ingredients I need for those 3 meals. I copy/paste the recipe into an email that I send to myself, starring it so it stays at the top of my inbox until I make it.

I do some cooking at night, some things are simple that I can make after work, some go in the crockpot in the morning (today’s meal is cooking as we speak: Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili)

We’ve been eating well, spending less money, having leftover night with downstairs neighbor L, and E’s lunches look like this:

bento1 bento2 bento3 bento4

I take pictures because I’m proud and I can’t believe I made them. I bought the bento box for myself as a practical lunch container to run with but quickly found that this can’t contain enough food to keep me full, so it became E’s.

So here’s the down side and I believe this to be directly correlated. I keep getting parking tickets. In my neighborhood, there is typically street cleaning once a week. If you’re parked there during the (2-hour) street cleaning window, you are fined $68. This is happening to me way too often. I keep thinking “that’s the last one! Now I’ll really pay attention!” And then I do something like move my car a day early to be safe, and put it in a spot that is cleaned once every 2 weeks but since I didn’t check I didn’t realize that it would be that day. As if just by moving it, I’m safe, so my vigilance turns off. I’ll make a strong mental note that my car is good for a week and then less of a mental note when I make an unexpected trip and repark in a new spot. This morning I sucked in my breath as I heard the street cleaner come down my side of the street- E was already at the window watching it glide down the block and swerve around my one lone car.

This is even with my downstairs neighbor looking out for me. Either she has a sixth sense about it or looks out her window a lot. Last night she called and texted but I was asleep at 8:45, in my running clothes, for the night.

I think meal planning has taken over my ability to track my car. I’ve tried setting an alarm. I’ve tried having it be the most important thing to remember each day. I am probably shelling out 2-3 tickets a month. This has got to stop!

Do I set one time aside each day to think about my car? Each morning when I leave for work I confirm its safety or move it? Put a note on my hand? Skywriting? Would this go better if the fine was $1000?

Well, on the bright side, we are eating well. I’ll just have to forge new pathways in my brain. Or whatever brilliant ideas you come up with.


3 thoughts on “meal planning and parking tickets”

  1. What would it cost in your neighborhood to rent garage space? or is it even available? (San Francisco costs can be amazing and similar to rent of an apartment in many other cities.) Because compared to your ticket costs perhaps that would be reasonable.

  2. Maybe set a couple of regular alarms or calendar reminders, that go off at the times the various streets are cleaned in your neighborhood?

    I am pretty much worthless without my calendar! It’s wiritten down or it ain’t happening.

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