Menu Planning

Menu planning…has changed my life!  Before I started menu planning, each week we would have a discussion in our house that went something like this:

“Hey babe, what do you want to eat this week?”

“Uhh, I don’t know.”

“I really need some help.  I’m tired and I don’t have any ideas.”

“Ok, burgers.”

“Ok, what about the other 6 days?”

I could go on with my realistic pretend conversation for a while, but I’m sure you get the idea.  I would get in a cooking/recipe rut, ask my husband for help, and we would both be too tired from our daily lives to come up with…ANYTHING.  At first, when I read about idea of menu planning, I thought it was too much work.  But, as I’ve started using it, I’ve realized that it can just help us put one foot in front of the other and move along in those busy times of life.  Like many, I have an huge arsenal of cookbooks, websites, and resources from which to get cooking ideas and menu planning is how I narrow it down.  So, here’s what our fall/winter menu plan looks like:

 

Fall/Winter Monthly Menu

Breakfasts

Rotate between oatmeal, French toast/pancakes, eggs/bread/smoothie, yogurt/granola/fruit, and milk/granola/ hard boiled eggs.

*Note: To save time, when I make french toast, pancakes, or muffins.  I make large batches, freeze the extras, and then pull them out and thaw for a quick breakfast on the mornings that we have less time.

Lunches

Left overs, soup, or sandwiches

Dinners

  Sunday – Poultry

  1. Roast Chicken/Turkey, Rice, Brussels Sprouts
  2. Turkey Meatloaf, Rice Brussels Sprouts

   Monday – Sandwiches

  1. Eggplant Spread with Flat Bread or Crackers and Roasted Nuts
  2. Hummus with Pita Bread and Vegetables
  3. Baked Potato Bar

   Tuesday – Left Overs

   Wednesday – Italian/Mexican

  1. Pizza
  2. Burritos
  3. Pasta
  4. Fajitas

   Thursday – Fish/Meat

  1. Rib Roast, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli
  2. Fish and Rice Casserole, Broccoli
  3. Parmesan Crusted Cod, Roasted Potatoes, Smash Peas

   Friday – Left Overs

   Saturday – Main Dish Soups

  1. Chili
  2. Hamburger Soup / Mexican Chicken Soup
  3. Rosemary White Bean (or other Bean Soup)
  4. Potato Leek / Broccoli Cheese Soup

 In addition to our weekly menu, we have a baking day on a monthly basis for breads, tortillas, biscuits, etc., which we make large batches of and freeze for later use.

For more ideas/inspiration for menu planning, check out the post here, here, and here on one of my favorite blogs, Passionate Homemaking.

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