I’ve switched to menu planning for an entire month to help myself at this phase of life. With two kids, it’s become hard enough for me to find the time to grocery shop, let alone sit and think about a plan of attack for every week that passes. I found that the need to menu plan would sneak up on me when there was no food left and no time left with everyone looking at me hungry for something to eat and I hadn’t had a free moment to do anything about it.
Part of the joy I get out of menu planning, other than the money it inevitably saves us, is that I get to pour over my recipe books, my favorite blogs, and the all-consuming Pinterest. Menu planning has unashamedly become a hobby that I get to use some of my oozing creativity and love of cooking with!
It frustrated me to no end that I was having to hurry myself through the process from start to finish. I didn’t have the time to peruse the sales. I didn’t have time to find new and interesting recipes to try out, and I was getting sloppy with our budget since I was in desperation just to get food on the table before the people in my home had desperately low blood sugar levels!
With monthly menu planning, I only have to force myself to think about it one time a month and I’m set. Here’s how I organize it:
- Name the meal (e.g. Black Bean Quesadillas)
- Number the meal (e.g. 1. Black Bean Quesadillas)
- Make a list of needed ingredients that correspond with the meal number (e.g. Whole Wheat Tortillas (1), Black Beans (1), Cheese (1))
Weekly, I simply look at my month list of meals and pick what sounds good and then look at my ingredient list to take note of what needs to be bought.
No more cramming. No more last minute runs or eating out. Problem solved. It only took me almost 3 months with a new baby to figure out.
Here’s what we’re eating this week:
- Tarragon Chicken, Rice Pilaf & Honey Almond Green Beans
- Beer Mac & Cheese
- Three Bean Chili & Cornbread
- Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner)
- Shabbat with the clan