I’ve been trying to get in the habit of menu planning. Last year, I began adding a meals section to the weekly plan in my bullet journal. My intention was to plan for all meals, however, that doesn’t always work. If I followed through on my dinners, though, I felt successful.
I would say that meal planning worked on a certain level for me. Here are a few ideas that were beneficial to my planning:
- Keeping things quick and easy on our busy Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Planning for the week ahead with my grocery flyers in hand
- Giving my df girl and my cl boy a chance to choose something each week–because they have very different preferences, and my df girl has a few special dietary needs, I sometimes need to make minor (or major) adjustments as I go.
I don’t know about you, but I am indecisive, so the more prompts I get, the better I function! Tell me what to make, and I’ll do it; ask me what I’m going to make and I freeze like a deer in the headlights.
Having said this, I decided I needed a little more direction in my meal planning strategy this year. Enter a plan within a plan.
- Monday: Meatless
- Tuesday: Quick and Easy
- Wednesday: C’s choice (my df girl)
- Thursday: N’s choice (my cl boy)
- Friday: Something New
- Saturday: International
- Sunday: Crockpot/Cooking for Company
We have a bit of a conundrum: we are on a budget, but we want good food. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. This is why I plan around the flyers and what I have on hand from shopping extra during sales. Choosing to have a meatless meal once a week will hopefully help, though I’m sceptical if I’ll be able to keep it going, given My Love’s penchant for meat and my cl boy’s simple tastes. We’ll try it for a while. I don’t want to be a slave to this. My plans are always in pencil, meaning I try to be flexible.
As I said, Tuesdays and Thursdays need to be quick and easy. My cl boy’s choices almost exclusively fall into this category, so I can kill two birds with one stone.
If you’ve been on my Pinterest board, you’ll know I pin a lot–of everything. That’s why my byline is “Mostly a pinner only, striving to be a doer also…of at least a few.” I have so many recipes I want to try, but so often, I fall back on the tried and true. I don’t want to be stuck in a rut, so I am going to be intentional about choosing something new at least once a week.
We love all manner of International foods around here, so Saturday is the day we eat Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian or Asian….or whatever the flavour of the day might be.
If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you’ll know that we love to invite people for lunch after church on Sundays. This means I need a no fuss meal that cooks while I’m away. Enter the crockpot (I often have two going!) or something that I can throw in the oven for a couple of hours while we’re gone.
Another thing I’ve tried to implement–and failed far too often–was to make a batch of soup during the week for lunches, or even for dinner. I’d like to be more intentional about making a batch of healthy muffins and treats each week, as well. My df girl has smoothie bags in the freezer for a quick morning meal. I’d also like to start making yogurt again. I can’t always get the kind I like here (we live in a small town with one grocery store) and my df girl likes almond milk yogurt.
Some nights are just a YOYO night. That is, “You’re On Your Own.” Grab a meal from the freezer or make a sandwich, whatever. It’s all up for grabs. I don’t even care if you eat popcorn for dinner. This is sometimes a last minute addition because of unplanned circumstances during the day or planned, knowing that I might not be around to prepare anything.
As I said, my meal plan is in my bullet journal because that’s what works for me right now, but I have a couple of printables for you, if that’s the way you roll. One is a weekly meal plan and one is a grocery list. The grocery list is divided into two stores. Remember, we only have one store in town, but there is a different chain in the next village that we will drive to on occasion. Also, we travel to another larger town from time to time and there are two grocery stores that are different yet again. Sigh. I do miss price matching at one convenient location!
Be inspired with me over here: