Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tips on Running a Household: Menu Planning

Tips on Running a Household: Menu Planning


Why plan a menu?

For me, it's my lifeline. I've got my four kids pulling me in all different directions. When I have a menu, my life is easier.  It's one less decision to make at that crazy time of day in the after school hours. In the morning, I already know what we're going to have, so it's a simple matter to get out the meat to defrost, or to get dinner into the crock pot. I can look at our schedule and figure out when I need to start things in order to be able to eat before an activity. I can also prep things ahead of time if needed. It's so much easier to say no to a $5 pizza on the way home from karate, if I've already got dinner in the oven.

The hardest part of making dinner is deciding what to have. When you have a menu plan, the decisions are already made so dinner is easy!

How do I do it?

Each month I sit down and write a menu. {If that seems too daunting, plan a weekly menu instead.} It's nothing fancy. I literally draw a calendar on a folded over piece of paper and start filling in the meals.

Tips on Running a Household: Menu Planning

Sundays, we always do a roast, chicken or pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy and homemade rolls. Fridays, we always have homemade pizza or calzones. Mondays we usually have some kind of breakfast for dinner {I won't let them have cereal though, they'd want it all the time and we already spend way too much on it}. Then I start filling in the other days of the week.  Mondays and Wednesdays my son has Karate lessons. He gets done at 5:30. My kids are starving by then. I try to either have something in the oven or crockpot, or have something really simple that can be pulled together in minutes {like breakfast for dinner}. I've found lately that Saturdays I don't feel much like cooking big meals, so it's usually something simple and/or quick.  Now in our crazy lives, things are always coming up. For example,  there are dentist appointments, or parent teacher conferences that come up. I don't always remember to factor these things into my menu plan. I may need a quicker meal than I had planned for that day, so I just swap meals with a different day. That's OK. 

At the beginning of each week, I write down that week's menu on my Chalkboard Menuboard. Click the link for my tutorial. Or you can check out my etsy store {Bits of Sparkle and Lace} and buy one.

DIY Chalkboard Menuboard

Once I have my menu plan for the month, I make up my grocery list. But that's a topic for another day.

So do you plan your menus? What tips do you have that help you?

Other Tips on Running a Household:
Menu Planning
Well-Stocked Pantry
Food Storage

1 comment :

  1. I really need to do this, but in the meantime can I just come eat at your house! Yummy!