For some homemakers meal planning can be like a dirty word. Thinking about what to make and making a plan can seem like such a daunted task. But it doesn’t have to be. You just need to ask yourself a few questions and in just a little while you can have a meal plan.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Ask yourself what are your family’s favorite meals to eat? Write those down.
Ask yourself what new recipes do I want to try? Write those down.
Ask yourself what are some really simple meals I like to make? Write those down.
Now you should have about 5-6 dinners in mind after asking these questions. This can be your meal plan for the week. Then the next week you can make a few family favorites add on a new recipe or two. By the end of a month if you keep your lists for the previous weeks you will have a month of menu ideas at your fingertips.
Now that dinners are taken care of what about other meals
What I like to do for breakfast and lunch is to automate them for ease. I will make the same breakfast most weekday mornings. We will usually have toast and egg and oatmeal each morning. Then on the weekends I will make pancakes, waffles, scones or muffins. This makes my planning for breakfasts really easy. If there is a week I know I will have more time I will make a more elaborate plan for that week. I try to make it as easy as I can for myself.
I will also make a similar plan for lunches. Since we are homeschoolers my husband is the only one who needs a lunch away from home. So we eat dinner leftovers for lunch anytime we have them. When we don’t have leftovers, I keep sandwich or salad fixings on hand to make for a quick lunch. Sometimes I will freezer cook some items and use those during the next few weeks for our lunches. What ever works for your family do that but make it easy for you and a plan that fits how your family eats.
Meal Plan Your Way
Meal planning doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you already meal plan but want to expand to planning a month at a time here are a few posts on how I meal plan my dinners for a month at a time, part 1 and part 2. But if you are not used to meal planning I would start with a week or two at a time. It took me years before I started meal planning a month at a time. Just set up a system that works for you so whenever anyone asks “What’s for dinner?” you will already have a plan in mind.
How do you meal plan at your house? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly? Or not at all?