Get Organized: Menu Plan

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Menu planning is one of my favorite things. Is it . . .

Because I'm a bit of a nerd?
Okay, yes.

Because I'm a super cook?

Because I feed my family a wide variety of wonderful meals?

Because it helps me plan my grocery shopping?

Because it is hard to think and cook when young boys
whine, "I'm STARVING!" from 4 o'clock on?

As I mentioned yesterday, Sunday night is when I plan for the week ahead with my calendar. After I get the calendar straight, I organize my grocery list (with coupons) and plan our meals for the week. Here is the key: I only plan dinner. Breakfast and lunch don't vary too much, so why torture myself? Supper is the main event, and it is closely related to the calendar.

For example, if I know that Hubby won't be home on Tuesday night, then I can fix pasta for myself and the boys. If I know that Big Guy has choir practice on Wednesday, then we can go to church for dinner that night.

I write my loose plan on a magnetic notebook attached to the fridge. As you can see, it is really fancy:

If you would like a prettier version for your house, check out:

  • This combination menu plan and grocery list from Mommy Tracked - click here
  • A package of 11 different menu planning sheets (everything you could possibly want!) from Mom Saving Mom - click here
  • This one from Olli Bird is almost too pretty to write on. I would laminate it and use a dry erase marker . . . if I ever got that motivated. Click here, you'll love it.

When I prepare for our meals this way, I am more motivated to cook. Having a written plan eliminates stress. Less stress allows for more fun and creativity. Some weeks, I decide to try one new recipe. Others, I aim for multiple vegetarian meals. I always plan at least one meal around leftovers, and I try to incorporate a personal favorite for each family member at some point during the week. Still, life happens and I don't always stick to the plan. But, at 4 o'clock I always treasure having a starting point.

Do you menu plan? How?

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6 Responses to “Get Organized: Menu Plan”

  1. Courtney,
    A great how-to--informative and inspiring--us to get with it, maximizing our
    capabilities and time while yielding a warm sense of accomplishment.
    TKS immensely for sharing and have a joy-filled week!

  2. Thanks, Bobbe! You are too kind. I hope you have a wonderful week, too.

  3. I have been meal planning since my daughter was born.  It became very apparent to me at that time how important it was.  When my middle son was a baby, he wanted to feed at the time I needed to prepare dinner.  If I hadn't meal planned and prepared before that time, dinners would have been at 8.  I plan for a month and then modify weekly if necessary (owning to leftovers or amazing sales).  My list looks like yours.

  4. I have been meal planning probably since we were married. I just do better with a plan! And I know the feeling of kids saying they're hungry beginning at 10am for lunch (even with a morning snack) and at 3-4pm for supper. Oh, boys!

  5. Yay! I'm so glad to know that someone else has a crossed-out, slapped on the fridge list. 

  6. I totally agree about not planning anything other than dinners. When I first started blogging I saw that people planned breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. So I thought they must be onto something. Menu planning took me hours and hours {I'm slow LOL!} Now it just takes a few minutes. 

    I also plan a night for each family member - something they would love, but I've been trying to figure out what to call that night. I like how you call it personal favorite....might have to steal that name from you!