Monday, April 23, 2012
Have you ever planned a menu? It can be fun, challenging, easy or hard.
To make simplifying easier I try to have an idea of what kind of meals I might be preparing. I usually think about supper and work breakfast and lunch around those. For example: Monday - something quick and easy, Tuesday - crock-pot (this is usually a nice dinner), Wednesday - Meatless, Thursday - Leftovers, Friday - grill or something fun/easy, Saturday - Simple, Sunday - get it yourself/not much work or thought to fix. This varies depending on the time of year and what I feel like doing. Sometimes we have a planned Mexican or Italian night, etc.
I'm going to take you through planning my weekly menu. This walk-through will be a little more detailed than I usually make it in real life, but I use the same principles and want to try to make it clearer than mud. This is my plan for the week of April 16-22.
First of all I make sure I have a few minutes of uninterrupted (kind of) time. Then I get a pencil and paper and I start in my fridge. I look to see if there is anything that I need to get used up before it goes bad. I found leftover pinto beans, carrots and 1 doz. eggs that were past the purchase date. Next I look in my Freezer for meat that I want to use this week. I found 1 package of stew meat and 2 # of hamburger that I wanted to use this week. I do have a few other things in there, but this wasn't the week to use them. We usually drink water so I don't put beverages on my menus.
Now I sit down and plan my menu making sure I incorporate the ingredients I thought I should use from my fridge and freezer. While I plan I keep in mind the things that I know are in my dry pantry that I can use as well. Sometimes I get up to look and see if I have something or to just look at what's on the shelves that give me an idea. I try to make at least one meatless dinner a week if I can.
For lunches Jeff usually gets leftovers or a leftover meal from the freezer, I usually don't eat sandwiches so I eat leftovers, tortillas or eggs. The menu I make shows what I am planning on feeding the kids.
Here's my menu:
Dinner: M - Eggs and Muffins
T - Crockpot Beef Stew and Biscuits
W - Meatless Beans and Rice, Salad
R - Leftovers, Birthday cake (at the time of planning the menu I wasn't sure yet what we
would be doing for Kent's birthday.)
F - Hamburgers
S - Spaghetti (I guess I forgot a veggie, I'm sure I'll find something.)
S - Popcorn, Cheese, fruit or veggie leftovers
Lunch: M - PBJ Sandwiches and Carrots (We ate bananas, too.)
T - Fruit and Veggies, Crackers, leftover muffins, peanuts or other nuts
W - PBJ Sandwiches and Fruit
R - PBJ (It's Kent's birthday, but since I didn't know what we were planning for him it may
F - Boiled Eggs, Salad leftover from Wednesday, Fruit
S - Grilled Cheese
S - Sandwiches/Leftovers (this is the one meal a week I don't really plan, we have Life
Group this week and it's grab and go, because we usually have an hour or a little more
before our group starts and Clark usually needs to be fed, too)
Breakfast: M - Cereal
T - Amish Baked Oatmeal, Applesauce
W - Waffles (frozen from freezer, not a regular thing)
R - Cereal
F - Cereal
S - Pancakes, Maple Syrup
S - Autumn Wheat Cereal
Snacks: M - Graham Crackers/leftover Easter candy
T - nothing/leftovers from lunch
W - Graham Crackers
R - Pretzels/Peanuts
F - Pretzels
Now I know what I'd like to feed my family for the week and I need to make a list for the store.
Next week I'll be sharing more about making a list and shopping from my pantry.
Do you plan your menu each week? Do you know what you are having for dinner tomorrow?
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