So… I create monthly menu plans to make life much more simple for me. Yes – it’s all about me. Imagine 3 hungry men coming at you every night with the same question, and never knowing the answer…
What’s for dinner?
Such an innocent question, but so loaded with angst for me.
It should be an easy answer, but… What’s in the fridge? What did we have last night? What’s on the schedule for tonight? Do we have any coupons? (No, wait, we can’t eat out AGAIN!) And so the angst cycle begins.
Many moons ago I realized I’d love to develop menu plans – they’re all the rage in simple living books and blogs. How hard could it be right?
Well, it took much trial and error, and required me to get rid of alot of people-pleasing tendencies (because not ALL of us like ALL the dinners I make).
A big factor for me was fitting all this required food into the budget. And the budget has expanded as my boys have expanded (vertically 🙂 ). And that’s perfectly fine.
When we started on the Food Box program that was a challenge as well, because I never quite knew what would be in the box every week! I had to learn to cook with what I was given, instead of buying food needed for recipes I’d chosen beforehand. Quite a switch for me, let me tell you. But I think I’ve mostly got the hang of it, and many of the things in the Food Box are seasonal or similar every week, so I’ve learned to roll with that as well. Sometimes the menu plan becomes an idea outline instead of a set-in-stone regiment.
Here’s our September plan – let me know if you’d like a recipe and I’ll start to type them up 🙂
|BREAKFAST||School Lunches – 8 Items||AFTER-SCHOOL SNACK||DINNER – 1st Week & 3rd Week||DINNER – 2nd Week & 4th Week|
|MONDAY||Muffins/Smoothies||1-Pizza/Sand./Leftovers||muffins||Chipotle Meat, Rice, Torilllas – Double It||Thai Chicken Stir Fry – Double It|
|TUESDAY||Breakfast Cookies/Smoothies||2-Yogurt||popcorn||Chili with Nachos, Buns, or Hot Dogs – Double It||Spaghetti Pie – Double It|
|WEDNESDAY||Muffins/Smoothies||3-Fruit||muffins||Sausages or Salmon & Salad||BBQ Skewers, Rice, Broccoli|
|THURSDAY||Breakfast Cookies/Smoothies||4-Vegetables||popcorn||Eggs, Beans, Toast, Tomato||Crock Coup – Lentil & Veg|
|FRIDAY||Sausage/English Muffins||5-Granola Bar/Muffin||choc bar||Burgers or Salmon & Salad||Burgers or Salmon & Salad|
|SATURDAY||Pancakes/Bacon||6-Treat||Homemade Pizza & Raw Veg||Homemade Pizza & Raw Veg|
|SUNDAY||Anything Goes||7-Juice Can||Leftovers or Potluck or Crock Pot Recipes||Leftovers or Potluck or Crock Pot Recipes|
|MONTHLY BAKING – Portion & Freeze||ALSO MAKE||DESSERTS||BEDTIME SNACK|
|Cereal Squares||2 Granola Bar Recipes for Us||Fruit||Cereal|
|Choc Chip Bars||Ice Cream||Toast|
|Choc Snack Cake||Cake||Fruit|
|Peach or Apple or Berry Cake|
In addition to this plan, I also have a few frozen pizzas on hand for hunger emergencies 🙂
Having everything mapped out like this really helps with making the grocery list as well – SO NICE!
When I scan the weekly flyers and make note of the sales, then I can stock up for the recipes coming, or for next month if I’ve already got everything I need for the current menu plan.
What’s for dinner you ask? … well let me just check…
See how easy that can be?
Yep, lovin’ it!
Do you menu plan? If so, do you have any tips for the rest of us?