It happens to all of us. We know the habits that are good for us. We know our life goes better when we do certain things. But, somewhere along the way, the habit falls aside. The knowing doesn't follow with doing.
This has been true for me and menu planning. I am a huge believer and supporter of Menu Planning. I've sung the menu planning theme song at length. But since the summer ended and the school year began - we've been mostly winging it. It hasn't been going well.
The result for us of NOT menu planning:
- We're spending more money, both in the grocery store and on takeout.
- We're wasting time with extra trips to the store. (And more trips cost more money.)
- Meal times are more stressful. The kids don't know what's coming up and we're doing the 5 o'clock scramble to pull something - anything - together. I get to feeling anxious and prickly. I am just plain calmer when I know there's a plan for supper.
- Making meals feels like a lot more work. When we think of something to make, we can't be sure it's even possible because we're not sure what's in our cupboards.
There's some irony. We couldn't need a menu plan more. Ed is coaching one of his school's basketball teams - that means each weeknight there's a long practice or a night of games - weekends are often tournaments. I've taken on more work at my job. The kids have started activities - skating, Girl Guides and archery. Add on our writing, a conference, homework, housework. We are maxed out for time!
So, this week we are back to basics. We've planned a simple menu around our many activities.
It's a comfortable feeling to have a plan for meals in place. It's reassuring to know we have what we need in the cupboards. There is a peace with having a plan.
Have you gotten away from menu planning, like we have? Just jump back in. I encourage you to pick up a pencil and scribble down 5 meals to get you through the next few days. You don't have to go to your recipe books - that can feel intimidating - just pick 5 meals you pretty well know by heart. Heck - even pick things from the frozen food aisle. The point is, just start. It doesn't have to be perfect. It's just a start. And a start is enough.
Here's our plan for the week:
Jelly Chicken with 5 Minute Bread and Broccoli
"Sauce Chicken" (aka Chicken Stew with Curry Sauce) served with couscous
Easy Chicken Fingers, Mashed Potatoes, Kid's Choice Vegetable TBD
Kids Pizza Chefs
On the BBQ: Simple Marinated Pork Chops with noodles and Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower
Our Fish Stick Hack with peas and rice.
Check out this weekly link-up for many, many more menu plan ideas!
What's on your Menu Plan for this week? I'd love to hear your plan!
What are your go-to recipes for busy weeknights?