There’s no reason to pretend like you know everything.

Home-Ec 101 has built a community of resources to help figure out everything you need to know to make life easier. The articles on this site currently cover these topics, but we’re expanding and will add to this list soon. (Good stuff is coming!)

  1. Cooking
  2. Cleaning
  3. Laundry
  4. Basic home repair
  5. Emergency Preparedness
  6. Life Skills

Home-Ec 101 covers everything you’d call your parents for, without the chance of getting stuck on the phone and hearing about great aunt Mary’s latest medical procedure.

There’s also no guilt, pressure, or judgment either, no questions about when you’re going to settle down, have kids, get a better job, call more often, you know the drill.

The important thing is to remember that:

You are not alone.

We’re just here to answer your questions about how to get rid of that stain, make that recipe, or get your house in order. You’ve got this, we’re just here as your backup.

Click through to the blog if you want to see the most recent posts and please scroll down if you are here for our weekly menus or free printable menu planner.’s Weekly Menus

We may live in three homes and have three very different lives, but we’re family by choice.

Each week we will be updating this post with our weekly menu plans.

You can learn a little more about our lives below the weekly plans by clicking the Continue Reading button just below the three menus. Remember, these are plans, and plans change. Sometimes life alters those plans. Would you like a printable to help with your menu planning?

Weekly Menu for Heather, Lisa, and Amanda:

Heather’s Menu

False fall and there is a lot of rain, but it’s als the first week of college for our oldest.!
It’s community college, but college is college. The other teens are learning to balance heavy course loads and part time jobs. Meanwhile at my day job, we’ve got a big launch this week. Things are busy, so that means we’ll probably be a bit quiet on the home front here.

Flank steak salad. I have the steak marinating in cumin, lime, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño. I’ll cook it quickly in a cast iron skillet and serve it over mixed greens, with sweet corn, tomatoes and a vinaigrette. The little girls will… poke at it.

Ground Beef Stroganoff and green cabbage However, I’m going to stray a little bit and use ground pork. I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit and take notes to publish it later.

A roll with poppy seeds on a white plate, a plate of ground beef stroganoff over egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream, roasted carrots, and pan seared green beans with multi-colored grape tomatoes, a water glass and a blue napkin

Ray is making Chicken Fajitas one night this week on the Blackstone.

Chicken paprikash, this has quickly become a family favorite and I need to take pictures and get the recipe up on the site. We’ll serve it with roasted green beans, and probably egg noodles or rice.

We’ll likely have leftovers twice, breakfast for dinner, or maybe even takeout an extra night with the way this week is shaping up. Sometimes you just make do.

Lisa’s Menu

I headed down to Charleston on the first of the week to visit Heather and her family, so my menu is a little shorter than normal.

It’s also a super busy week on the caregiving front, so I’m trying to manage expectations, mainly my own, and not get trapped in the loop of perfectionism that I’m not doing all the things.

  1. Chicken thighs with broccoli and wild rice
  2. Mediterranian takeout
  3. Salads with grilled chicken
  4. Spaghetti bolognese
  5. Grilled chicken breasts, wild rice, fresh sliced tomatoes, and corn on the cob

Amanda’s Menu

Change is change, whether it’s work or home and that can be stressful. We’ve got this, and we are getting back into a routine.

We have been trying Hello Fresh to try to reduce some of my mental workload and reduce as much stress as possible. I’ll report on how much we like (or don’t) the meals we try and how they go over with the teens.

  1. Spiced apricot chicken with rice and roasted carrots
  2. Spicy meatballs with roasted green beans, and jasmine rice
  3. Honey ponzu chicken with ginger lime rice and roasted broccoli
  4. Italian chicken and pepper hoagies, home fries and corn on the cob
  5. Beef falutas supreme with lime crema and black beans

What do our households look like?

Heather is married with six children, two are preschoolers, and four are teenagers. Three of the teenagers are there full-time, one is there mainly on weekends during school, but much more whenever school is not in session. Family nights out are generally cost-prohibitive and saved for special occasions. We are working hard to eliminate takeout, a habit that developed when Heather’s depression flared badly for most of ’21.

Lisa is married with a child starting law school in the fall of ’22. She is also a medical caregiver for a family member.

Amanda is a single parent. She has two children, one in college.

What are our current menu plan challenges?

  • Multiple schedules
  • Business travel
  • Neurodivergencies
  • Empty nest
  • Large family
  • Changing tastes due to medication
  • Burnout
  • Food intolerances
  • Depression/anxiety

All these things affect not only what we choose to cook but whether or not we have the energy or wherewithal (executive function) to make what we choose. We are no longer young adults but remember those years well. Home-Ec 101 was started, in part, by that overwhelming 4:00 pm dread of not knowing what to make that was a result of not having learned the life skills as kids.

We’re here to help.

We’ve got an entire series on menu planning. A free printable to plan your menu and shopping list and plenty of beginner to intermediate-friendly recipes to get you going. Also, Heather is fantastic at Iron Chef, Pantry Clean-Out Edition.

As promised, here’s your menu planning printable. We hope it makes your planning and grocery shopping a little bit easier.

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