I have a love/hate relationship with menu planning. I'm often a Fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of girl. Especially concerning cooking. I cook what I FEEL like cooking most days. Makes for difficult decisions on days I DON'T feel like cooking. Know what I mean? I've planned menu's several different ways.... monthly, weekly (possibly weakly? lol ), a list of 20 meals to pick from for a month, etc. They all work as long as I stick to them.
Menu planning is good for my budget. Allows me to easily work with what I have in my freezer and pantry. Let's me know ahead what I need from the grocery store, so as to avoid aimless wandering. Gives more opportunity for family input on what we eat. Just this morning we came to a compromise on soups... the little girls agreed if I made one of their favorites this week, they'd try to eat one of my favorites next week! On days I don't feel like cooking, I don't have to think. I just have to cook. :)
One thing that has helped with menu planning in the past, is to assign certain nights to certain types of food. Tuesday is always Soup Night. A weekend night is often home made pizza. Sunday's are most often a more formal meal. I'm not a die-hard about switching things around a little, but it helps with ideas.
I'm ready to let menu planning simplify life again. I thought I'd try posting my weekly menu's here through February and see how it goes. I will be doing a week at a time so I can work off of grocery ads from the previous week. I will only be planning dinners. Breakfast depends on how much energy I wake up with... and lunch is often leftovers. Here we go!!!
Menu February 1-7
Monday - Meatloaf, potato patties, green beans, fruit salad.
Tuesday - Cream of Potato soup, french bread, orange slices.
Wednesday - Chicken and Vegetable Stir-fry over rice, apple slices.
Thursday - French Bread pizza (using a loaf of hm french bread from Tuesday's menu)
Friday - Ham & Bean soup, Kentucky Biscuits, applesauce
Saturday - Leftovers from the week.
Sunday - Hawaiian Haystacks unless the family rebels and requires the usual Super Nacho's for Superbowl Sunday. Possibly apple pie for dessert.
I may decide to make a list each week of after school treats and desserts to make. We'll see how this week goes.