After Benji started eating solid foods I started making meal plans for the family. I made this nice worksheet with spots for Breakfast, Lunch and Supper 7 days a week for us and a separate spot for Benji, as well as a place to note what the activities for each day were and even the groceries needed. I would make 2 or more weeks of meal plans at a time, trying to balance all three meals and make sure that our diet was balanced.
After a couple of months I didn’t have the motivation to sit down for an hour or more trying to figure out what to feed my family. So I went back to the old way of figuring something out about 30 minutes before we wanted to eat. Hubby ended up making a lot of meals because I didn’t feel like cooking since I didn’t know what to make.
Four week ago I decided we needed to go back to meal plans but I needed a new method that would work better for us. I decided to make a weekly meal plan for supper only. We figure out breakfast each morning unless I want to make something special and lunch is usually leftovers or something light and quick like sandwiches. I usually don’t bother planning a meal for Sunday. Either we do something fun like pancakes and popcorn or hubby figures out what to eat and makes it. 🙂
I usually make the plan on Saturday or Sunday for the following week. The gives me a chance to see what’s already available in the kitchen so I can use it. I also try to create the meal plan around one or two proteins. One week we did chicken, another week pork and beans, last week I used beef and fish. This week hubby suggested we do more veggies.
I also did away with the fancy worksheet and decided to go basic. My new method looks like this:
A whiteboard (which I think is actually a leftover for my college days 🙂 hung in the kitchen with a dry erase marker and eraser. I have my meals for the week on top and my grocery list and to do list on the bottom. I’ve seen very nice meal plan boards on Pinterest and would love to try one but for now this is working great.
The meal plan for this week is:
- Monday: Rice and Cabbage
- Tuesday: Pasta with Stir Fried Veggies
- Wednesday: Beans and Chapatti (traditional Kenyan flat bread similar to tortillas)
- Thursday: Beef Stew and Ugali (traditional Kenyan food made with maize flour)
- Friday: Cheese and Spinach Calzones
- Saturday: Meat Loaf, Mash Potatoes and Veggies.
I’m loving the fact that my grocery list is almost entirely veggies. Hubby will have to pick those up at the market – I don’t bother buying anything at the market since I’d be charged 2 or 3 times as much as hubby is.
My favorite thing about meal plans is that the whole day I know what I’m making for supper, what I need to do to make it and when I need to get started. I end up being much more motivated to cook than when I spend 15 minutes or more trying to figure out what I can make with the cook already available in house. I also love the fact that I know the ingredients I need for the whole week and can make sure I have them when I need them.