Monday, March 31

Menu Planning

Menu Planning

It's weekly menu planning time again and I'm feeling chatty!

I usually sit down with my calendar for the week so I have a better idea of what lies ahead. Some nights might need to be an earlier dinner while others might need to be a crock pot meal. There is always something going on and each week is different. I try not to go too heavy on one type of meal but instead planning a nice variety through the week. There is always at least 1 night of fish and I try to incorporate some vegetarian meals, too. (this is not always easy as Chris and Edmund are big meat eaters).

For awhile I got in to a bad habit of planning meals with too much variety. I was always making something new which isn't always bad but I was reminded that there are a lot family favorites that I was forgetting. Now I try to include just a couple of new recipes with our tried and true favorites. I've learned that sometimes just a new side dish is enough.

I've also learned to be flexible. Often leftovers go to work with Chris for lunch but sometimes there is more than enough for another dinner that I hadn't planned for. Occasionally things just come up unexpectedly and our dinner plans have to change. I no longer allow that to rattle me. I simple adjust to the situation. Meals get rearranged - sometimes to another night, sometimes to another week. No big deal.

Each week, I check my freezer and pantry. I ask the family for suggestions. I pull any cookbooks or magazines with recipes that I want to try. I sit and plan, re plan, and then plan some more. Meals get planned then scribbled out. Some get shifted from one night to the next. Eventually I get a plan that I am happy with. All that is left, is the grocery list.

Each week the menu is posted on the refrigerator so the kids know ahead of time if they are going to complain or not. At the end of the week, I write out our (actual) menu in a little notebook. This notebook has been so helpful. When Chris says "can you make that thing you made when..." It's there in the book so I don't have to remember.

I don't make a breakfast or lunch menu. I also don't make dessert during the week. Dessert is a weekend treat. On the weeknights , however, there is always plenty of fruit or yogurt around. We also have the Cookie of the week for an occasional sweet treat.

This week's menu:

Smoked Sausages
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Okra and Summer Squash

Lamb Stew
Potato Rolls

Lime Baked Fish
Broiled Tomatoes
Snap Peas

Jamaican Pork Chops
with Pineapple and Black Beans
Sauteed Peppers

Chopped Salad with Chicken
Homemade Crackers

Stuffed Bread
Raw Veggie Strips

Edmund and Chris are camping with the Boy Scouts
Chaz, Topher and I will play it by ear.
Leftovers maybe?


Mommychicky said...

Welcome to MPM! Ooh, lamb stew... I almost did that on Sunday but lamb wasn't in the budget this week :(

Thanks for sharing your menu and have a great week.

My menu is up at Don't Eat Baby.

Jamie said...

Wow! Your menu planning is a lot more elaborate than mine...LOL

But some of those recipes look really good. Are you planning on posting some???

Emily said...

Thanks ladies. The lamb, by the way, is being made with the bone and leftover meat from Easter. I popped it in the freezer last week and back out again this week.

Jamie, I would be more than happy to share some recipes. Which ones were you interested in?

Kelly said...

You are impressively organized with meal planning.

What is stuffed bread? It sounds good.