I'm about to tell you something that will shock you. . .
I hate planning my weekly menu.
There, I said it - and I mean it.
I know I need to do it, but I always put it off and then regret it later.
My goal is to have a home cooked meal on the table most nights of the week.
I mean, who doesn't want to come home to a meal like this?. . .
But, the truth is, it takes work. It takes planning. It takes planning ahead and shopping ahead to make it work. My goal this week is to plan all of my meals for the next two weeks. I'm planning for two weeks because I want to really enjoy my time off from work (I'll only be working one of my three jobs) and not stressing about feeding lots of people.
Here's how I plan to accomplish it:
1. I've already inventoried the freezers and pantry to see what I have on hand. I want to use up any foods that have been around for awhile.
2. I'm using a small note pad to jot my menus down on. I found it at Michaels. It's made for 1 week, but I draw a line down the middle of the page and add additional days to make it last for 2 weeks. (cuz I'm cheap like that)
3. I'll pull out my recipe box, recipe binders, and cookbooks and look for recipes that use the items I already have on hand.
4. When possible, I'll plan on making double batches of food like chili and soup to freeze for later use or to eat for lunches.
5. I check my calendar for any special days or events I may need to make something special for and write that on my menu list.
6. I fill in the main dishes first and then add in the side dishes and an occasional dessert/snack to round out the list. If it's not a recipe in my box or binder, I write down where to find it so I don't spend a lot of time searching for it again.
7. The last thing I do is to highlight my printed grocery list with the items I'll need to purchase. I check each recipe to make sure I have all of the ingredients.
I made up my own grocery list on my computer and I can print out extra copies whenever I need to. Items are listed by category and I can highlight items by color according to where I plan to purchase them. Yellow for the regular grocery store, blue for Sam's club, and pink for Trader Joe's or the Organic Market. *I've recently revised this list as our shopping has changed to accommodate healthier eating.
I also like to have my list on my fridge so that as I use up the last of something I can highlight it and it won't get forgotten.
While strolling mindlessly (I mean researching) on several blogs, I've discovered some great menu ideas to get us started.
An Oregon Cottage
Musings Of A Housewife
I'm An Organizing Junkie
Now, I know many of you already make a weekly menu. I'm jealous of your dedication. Can you give me (and the rest of us) some inspiration for healthy meals? In the comment section, leave a list of the meals you've planned for this week.
Here's mine for this week:
Sunday - Beef Stew, Pumpkin muffins
Monday - Chicken and rice in the crock pot, peas
Tuesday - Kielbasa with apples and saurkraut, green beans
Wednesday - Turkey with stuffing, steamed broccoli
Thursday - Ham and cheese quiche, collards, fruit salad
Friday - Turkey noodle soup, spinach salad, popovers (we'll eat early so we can attend church service)
Saturday - Chili, rolls, veggie platter (whoever pops in during the day can eat whenever they want to)