Monday, March 4, 2013

How We Menu Plan

Making Menu Planning Work

Menu planning has been a struggle for me. I have the freezer cooking down. I love my crockpot. The problem I usually had was sticking to the menu.

This is how it used to go; I’d start the week off good. I would get two days in, realize that I ALWAYS cook too much food, get discouraged with myself, and just give up on our menu. Not anymore. (Well, I do still cook way too much.) I have devised a plan that works for us, and that’s what is important- that it works for us.

Want to know what works around here? Here is a step-by-step (well, sort of):

Menu planning goes on all week. When hubby mentions something that sounds good, I make note of it. No, not a mental note, because I lose those notes, but I actually write it down.

On Friday or Saturday I ask the family what sounds good for dinner this week. I write those suggestions down. If nobody offers any suggestions, there is absolutely no complaining about what is for dinner.

Next I look at our schedule. For instance, my step-son’s sports schedule. On busy days we eat from the crockpot. Every Wednesday everyone is here, so I need a picky-eater-friendly meal. I usually take my step-daughter’s suggestion (since she’s the picky eater) and put it down for Wednesday, or we have roast or spaghetti.

Every other Friday is pizza night. I make pepperoni for the kids, and some version of pizza using whatever is in the fridge for the adults.

I fill these meals on the board. Then I get to work filling in the blanks. My goal is to have 5-6 meals planned for the week, and one leftover day. I then make sure we have everything needed to make these meals.

If have a lot of leftovers or something came up, I just push a planned meal to the next week. (Have you noticed that some meals show up repeatedly on my menu posts?) After trying many ‘meal planning techniques,’ I think we have found what has worked for our family.

Here’s what we are eating this week:

  • Sunday- Leftovers
  • Monday- Spaghetti
  • Tuesday- Sloppy Joes 
  • Wednesday- Chicken Fried Rice
  • Thursday- Leftovers
  • Friday- Pizza
  • Saturday- Steak and Potatoes

Do you plan a menu? If so, what method have you found works for you?

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