Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Meal Planning

Something that has saved my sanity is meal planning.
I have done it various ways.........Plan each meal and assign it to a specific day, Plan a bunch of meals and hope it all comes out even in the wash........you name it.
The way I have finally stuck with (and which works quite well for me) is make a list of the various meals that we like to eat. I start with Breakfast, and then move to lunch, then dinner.
After I put down all the meals we like to eat, I see how many days are in that particular month. Then, I go through each of the meals I have jotted down and decide how many times we want that meal during the month. If it’s a meal that my kids don't really like, but I want them to start getting used to it, I will only put that meal down once or twice that month.
Just make all of the meals add up to the days of that month. (So for July, I planned 31 meals)
For example, this is my list for this month. Each of the numbers in each category adds up to 31 :

Breakfast
Muffins--6
French toast--6
Cereal--6
Pancakes--6
Bagels and yogurt--7

Lunch
PB&J--16
Cheese sandwich--3
Bagel sandwich--3
Mac and cheese--2
Tuna Patties--1
Tuna boats--2
Roman noodles--1
Fish sticks--3

Dinner
Tacos--3
Mac and cheese--2
Meat Loaf--1
Stroganoff--2
Pizza--2
BBQ chicken--2
Taco Salad--1
Cheese sandwich--1
Soup--1
Omelet--1
Steamed Veggies and Chicken--2
Tuna Boats--1
Tuna patties--1
Chicken Salad--2
Cornbread salad--2
Fish sticks--2
Stir Fry--2
Green salad--2

With each meal, I always plan on two veggie sides, or a veggie and fruit side. We keep our plate pretty veggied up. :)

So the number next to the meal is how many times we will have that meal this month. (Yeah, my kids REALLY like PB&J......can you tell?!!)
I just look at the list, choose which meal I want that night, mark that I am using it so I can stay on track with the number of times I had planned on, and know that I have all the food I need to make it.
This way, I can shop for these meals (hence my once a month shopping trip) since I know what I need. It saves money, time and a whole lot of stress over what to fix for dinner.

I hope this makes sense. It sure has helped make my life easier.

3 comments:

Jess said...

A new way for meal planning! Yay! I make a bi-weekly menu for dinners and we pretty much have cereal for breakfast everyday. I like seeing how others do their meal lists so I can get some ideas- like breakfast and lunch lists! Thanks!

Kathleen Mangum said...

Do you get sick of the same thing? I guess we probably have the same things too. It's interesting. I might try it. But vegetables and fruits don't stay that long?

The Hansen Family said...

Wow you're organized! we just eat whatever happens to be in the fridge that day! Yet another reason you need to get your hiney back to idaho, come organize me!