|Am I the only one that thinks cute printables make planning and organizing |
more fun? Pick up this one over at Thirty Handmade Days
From my sporadic efforts over the years to actually create and follow through with a menu plan, I have actually learned a few things that work for me. Everyone is different, so what works for me may not work for you, but these are a few things that help me to be successful:
- Flexibility ~ I have a hard time creating a schedule and routine for myself (ADD much?), so I never quite know how the day is going to go or what might come up; therefore, while I do like to plan specific dinners for each night based on what I do know is going on, it's important for me to have some options available if I need them and to not beat myself up for using them if necessary (perfectionist much?)
- Simplicity ~ Cooking is something I would like to learn to be better at, but at this point in my life if I want dinner on the table before bedtime, it had better be fast and easy! Thank God for crockpots! I do like to include one or two "adventurous" meals, either a new dish or a new skill, or at least that's my goal anyway.
- Consistency ~ Like I said, I have a hard time creating routines for myself, but I do thrive on them, so I tend to be much more successful when I know that Sunday is meal-planning and shopping-list-making day, and Monday is shopping day.
- One day (week) at a time ~ I have read the OAMC (Once-a-Month-Cooking) books and blogs and in theory, it sounds great. I have even tried to plan on a monthly basis, but that doesn't work for me. Maybe because of my short attention span? Follow-through issues? Hell, I can't even seem to successfully plan for leftovers! Whatever the reason, it is certainly something I'd revisit in the future once I have a little more experience under my belt, a Food Saver, and maybe a bigger freezer!
Monday: garlic chicken wings, zucchini
Tuesday: breakfast for dinner
Wednesday: roast chicken with root vegetables
Thursday: meatloaf with mashed potatoes & glazed carrots
Friday: goulash with roast vegetables
Saturday: pre-race dinner at the campground (we are running a trail race in WV on Sunday and camping overnight!)
Sunday: Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
Baked potato with cottage cheese
Salad with tuna & olives
Eggs & bacon
Pumpkin pancakes (from Practical Paleo)
Some of the meals planned this week were on last week's menu but didn't get made, but that's ok! See the first bullet above...
Need some menu planning inspiration? I'm following along with Robyn over at One Neurotic Egghead to get some new tips and tricks on menu planning. Check her out!
Tomorrow I'll share my shopping adventures...did I stay on budget? Did I follow my list? And I did take a few pictures while I was at it! Those Trader Joe's folks didn't even bat an eye!