Aug 19, 2014

Meal Planning Routine

Hey loves!  So you know that dreaded time of the day when you say to yourself, "What should we have for dinner?"  Yeah I do not like that question or the feeling I get when I ask that question.  I am a HUGE planner.  So this question stresses me out.  I try and avoid it at all costs and plan it out.  Some of you might find this crazy, but I plan my menu out for a whole month.

I try and plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I am NOT a stress eater.  So when I am stressed, I do not eat.  Then I start feeling really crappy.  That is why I plan all 3 meals.  That way I don't get to dinner and realize I forgot lunch.  I honestly do not know how this happens because I feed my daughter every meal.  I guess I just forget about me.  Every month I have dinners all planned.  Then I plan 2 weeks of breakfast and lunch.  I usually do the same thing for all seven days then have something simple, for instance, scrambled eggs, cereal, or whatever else the next seven days, then another week of seven breakfasts the same, then back to 7 days of simple breakfasts.  So now that I have completely confused you, here is an example so you can figure out what I was trying to say.  Lets say I am planning out September:
September 1-6: French Toast Roll Ups
September 7-13: Whatever I can find at the house that is simple (cereal, eggs, frozen hash browns, oatmeal)
September 14-20: Bacon and Egg Toast cups
September 21-27: Whatever I can find at the house that is simple (cereal, eggs, frozen hash browns, oatmeal)
And so on.  I do the same thing for lunches.

However, for dinners I have them ALL planned out for the month.  I do dinner themes for each day.  I had heard about themes for quite sometime, but as part of a conference I listened to online I found Liz Edmunds and she got me excited about themes.  So I jumped on board with the idea.  Here are my themes:

Monday-Comfort Night (I usually involve my family in this process and only choose things that they love)
Tuesday-Italian night (not pizza)/New Recipe: Either an Italian dish or a new recipe we want to try
Wednesday-Meatless- I do something different every week, but I usually involve a rice dish, spaghetti without meat, fish, and breakfast.
Thursday-Chinese Take out (family tradition)
Friday-Homemade Pizza or Chicken Fried Rice
Saturday-Grill/Soup/Crockpot (depending on the season)
Sunday-Tradition (We usually eat with family twice a month, roast one week, and try out a new recipe another week)

This makes it simple to plan a month out.  I also go shopping for two weeks at a time.  I try and get everything that I can get except some of the stuff that might go bad within 2 weeks like fresh produce or milk.  I do not love grocery shopping so this way I only have to do it twice a month.  It works for me.  If it seems like it could work for you give it a try.  You might like it!

This might seem really taxing, but I promise it pays off in the long run.  You will not regret it.  If a month seems too much then plan two weeks out.  If you have never done a meal plan in your life then maybe start with a week and work your way up.  I love it!

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Claudette S said...

I absolutely love meal planning ahead. I have written done favorite recipes or ones we want to try onto small post it tabs and placed them into a binder on sheet protectors. They are divided into categories. Ex: breakfast, poultry, beef, meatless etc. Then I just print out my monthly calendar with activities printed on it. Ex: work schedule, daughters schedule, extra curricular activities etc. This way I know whether I want crock pot, freezer meal or a meal I have time to make from scratch. It works wonderful.

Shambray said...

I completely agree that looking at the day's activities should help decide what you will be making. You sound so organized!

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