It’s Saturday and that means menu planning. Groan. Sign. Gag. I hear y’all out there! I fought the idea of menu planning literally for years. I would read these blogs that were linked up and planned out and full of freezer cooking (another topic for another day). Bah humbug. But I’m here to say it changed my life! I do not have a complicated system whatsoever. I have a 8 1/2 x 11 calendar printed off the internet and I plan by weeks. Nothing fancy, it’s based on what meats are in the freezer, always bought on sale. I plan six days with one for leftovers, otherwise known as “fend for yourself” night. I don’t do breakfast or lunches because that’s also fend for yourself. (My kids have it rough, but they can take care of themselves…at least food wise!)
Every day I glance at the calendar and know whether I need to prep something in the morning, throw the food in the crock pot or someone’s cooking with me in the kitchen later on. I plan the schedule according to what we have going on for the day. If there are doctor appointments or errands taking up my time I know I may not feel like cooking a bunch at dinnertime so I throw it in the crockpot (or even have it ready the night before). I don’t plan side dishes for the most part but I always have salad fixins and vegetables and fruits. If I want to swap days in the middle of the week because I’m just not in the mood for a particular entree then I do it!
This little step has made my life so much simpler. I don’t have to fret about what I’m cooking. I use up the food I’ve bought and there’s some variety to our meals. It takes very little time. If I’m feeling adventurous I tack on a new recipe or two. Ahhh, freedom! Try it. I dare you.