Sunday, June 15, 2008

Meal Planning

I love cooking and baking. If I could do it all day long without the clean up, I would. With the little one I quickly realized I needed to plan a variety of meals that took different lengths of prep time. After we moved in October, it became really hard to plan a meal the day of or even plan a week in advance. So much seems to change the dynamics of the day. Especially when I was still nursing.

I made a decision to plan our meals out one month in advance. Of course there is always flexibility. It allows me to plan my shopping trip very easily. I sit down only once a month to plan rather than 4 or more times a month. I don't have to think about the variety of foods. When I don't plan we end up eating easy ground beef meals every night and that gets really old, really fast.

So toward the end of the month I pull up a calendar on a Hallmark program I have (so the calendar at least has some decoration on it). I type up our meals for each day Monday through Thursday. I leave the weekend open because we go out at least once and grill out, too. There are usually leftovers to eat, too. I list the main meal. Sometimes I know how I'm going to prepare it, sometime not. For example, I've been trying many new chicken recipes lately. I'll just put chicken and figure out the recipe the week before. I don't add side dishes because it's usually a vegetable and potato. Those are easy to figure out the day of.

I really like creating a calendar with our meals on it because at a glance I can see what needs to be done for the week or if I need to move a meal around. It's also nice because if on a particular day I know I won't have time to make something due to our schedule, I can just take a meal from another day that week and switch them around because I know I've got the ingredients.

This has saved me tons of time and worry.


Monica said...

I give you lots of credit for planning a month in adavance!!!

Mel said...

Well, I've only got one little one to watch after, too. Who takes a bunch of short naps during the day.


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