Menu Monday: How Do You Plan Your Meals?


Happy Monday! Well, Christmas is over and the New Year is almost here. Crazy right?! For some reason this was just one of those years I was ready for the Holidays to come and go. I’m not a grinch. I promise. I love the holidays. Maybe it’s because I’m just really ready for 2014 and what lays before me. There are some exciting things on the horizon (which I’ll tell you about soon) and I’m super excited about new beginnings right now.

Speaking of new beginnings. It’s a Monday. It’s almost the beginning of a New Year and I love the topic of organization. So I plan on writing more about it.

meal planning

Meal Planning

I’m kicking it off with my Menu Monday asking “How Do You Plan Your Meals?” Or possibly I should ask “Do You Plan Your Meals?” We’re all at different seasons of life. We all function in different ways. And guess what? That’s OK.

But one thing I’ve learned throughout every season I’ve been in (I have many, many more seasons to go through!) is...planning meals has kept me out of stressful situations. Having a meal or two in the freezer makes me a happy camper. Feeding my family healthy meals (Well, sometimes healthy…when they beg me for onions straws and candied bacon I just can’t say no.) and knowing that there is plenty when they ask if so and so can come for dinner, to me screams HOME. Meal planning to me is extremely important.

So, how have I been doing? Not so great my friends. Not so great at all. The ice cream and frozen pizza in our freezer is getting lonely for more substantial food. My 9 year old was jealous tonight that his friend went home to eat ribs. RIBS. I want some ribs. I won’t even tell you what we had for dinner. I’ll just hang my head in shame. Heck, at least we had dinner right?

It’s not that I don’t know how to plan meals. I do it great once or twice a month. And when I’m on task, everything seems right with the world. Here’s how I plan my meals:

1. Take stock of what we already have in our fridge, freezer and pantry.

2. Write down some meals I can make out of those.

3. Go through my household binder (I’ll talk about this in another post) and Pinterest boards for more recipes.

4. See what we have going on for the week and assign meals to each day. A super busy day gets a meal from the freezer, crockpot meal or really easy meal like breakfast for dinner.

5. Write down what I need for the recipes.

6. Make an organized (meaning by section of the grocery store) grocery list.

One thing I might start doing is checking the sale ads and trying to create a menu based on what’s on sale. I know, I know. Probably a no-brainer, but saving money and shopping grocery ads isn’t really a, um, gift of mine. 😉

Your turn. How do you plan your meals? Or do you? Do you fly by the seat of your pants and stand looking at your fridge around 4:30 or 5:00? Yep, been there and done that.

I’m going to challenge myself for the month of January to plan out our entire month of meals. Do you think I can do it and stick with it? Cheer me on people! 😀 If you would also like to try it and need some encouragement, let’s do this together.