I know the above image is a button, but it is also so very true. My days feel less chaotic if I have a meal plan. Makes sense when meals happen 3 times a day, every day. It is a big part of the frame work to having some structure.
With the new year, I have also been wanting to get back to monthly meall plans. I have a document on the computer, the same format that is used at Confessions of a Homeschooler, for montly meals plans. It seems I have been posting them here without updating it the last few months. My hope is to have this month finished with meal planning by the end of this week, update the past months, and plan for next month. The last two parts of that are related as I hope to be reminded of meals we tried and liked, but haven’t eaten recently. Those will be added to next month’s meal plan as I come across them.
Recently I mentioned monthly meal planning to someone. Their response was, “I cann’t do that. I never know what the week will hold.” I understand. Some weeks the meal plan goes out the window and we fall back to spaghetti, salami sandwiches, tomatoe soup and other very easy meals. That is okay. For me, the point of a meal plan is:
- to make sure all the ingredients I need for a meal are on hand
- to give me a plan so we don’t end up eating the same thing for lunch/supper twice a week (this might be okay for some of you, but it doesn’t go well for some in my household)
- to have an idea of 30 lunches and 30 suppers at the beginning of the month, or 7 lunches/suppers at the beginning of the week
It is not a strict plan. I am okay if things get moved around, added, deleted or nixed. Even if you only can plan breakfasts, that is a great place to start. You are already 33.33% of the way there. If you are already doing that, try planning three main meals this week. If that still seems too daunting, forget the planning part and just make a list of all the meals your family likes to eat. At least you would then have something to refer to when thinking about supper.
If you look at my menu plan below, you may notice that lunches are much larger meals than supper. This is intentional. My husband is able to be home for both meals and has the preference for lunch to be the larger of the two. I haven’t been great about making suppers lighter meals, but am working to improve in that area.
Crepes, fruit, bacon
Eggs, toast, fruit
Rusks, coffee, tea
Oatmeal or grits
Eggs, bacon, fruit, toast
Red lentil soup, corn bread muffins
Sweet-n-Tangy pork chops, barley
Sweet and sour chicken, rice
Steak, fried potatoes, creamed spinach
English muffins, jam, cheese, salami
- Bacon, tomato, onion sandwiches
- Curry beef, cous cous
- Hummus, cucumbers, carrots, etc.
- Tomato soup, croutons, grilled cheese
- Toast, fruit, tea
How is your meal plan coming this month? Do you normally do one or is this something new for you?
Linked up with Healthy Branscoms
Also check out Confessions of a Homeschooler’s January’s Monthly Meal Plan. If this is a new concept to you, take some time to think it over. Imagine only having to sit down once a month to menu plan, rather than 4 or 5 times. It worked for me, perhaps it will do the same for you.