Menu planning isn’t a new concept, but it is certainly an important one for me. Without a weekly meal/menu plan in place I find that food in my pantry and fridge/freezer is underutilized and my stress level by 5pm is quickly on the rise. I go in panic-mode and start digging through the fridge like a starving animal and because I’m unprepared (specifically for dinner), my little girl is watching a DVD instead of doing something creative, imaginative, or interactive. Max and Ruby, VeggieTales, Hermie the Worm, we love you. But in small doses. And if she asks me to help with dinner (which is often) I get irritable because I’m in a rush, people!
So each weekend I try to devote a good hour or so to menu planning for the upcoming week. Some weeks I have no plan (okay, that should say “lately, more often than not, I have no plan”) and some weeks I have half a plan. Discipline in check: beginning this week, I plan to have a menu plan in place by Monday afternoon each week and post it here. Wish me luck. I will need it.
I love to follow blogs that take part in meal/menu planning such as the awesome Money Saving Mom website. It’s a great help to read what others are planning for their family meals and the best thing is I get to see what recipes are winners based off comments and suggestions other people post before using my money and ingredients. How selfish. I generally make small adjustments to fit my family’s tastes and then voilà! I have a new recipe to add to my repertoire.
I am by no means a perfect example when it comes to menu planning, but if you find yourself pressed for time, struggling to pull meal ideas out of your head each day, or just want to try something new, I’d suggest creating a menu plan to make life just a little less hectic. Covering breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in my menu planning is the key for me. It also keeps us out of a food rut and eating the same things repeatedly.
Do you have menu plan tips and tricks? I’d love to hear about them!