Yesterday we tackled the first step of “Meal Planning & Menu Organization” which was creating a “Master Command Center!” In case you missed it you can find the post form Day one here. You will find links to the printables to get you started!
Today we are taking on the challenge of “The Menu.” I have found many different styles of printable menu planning documents out there, but they all fail to realize that as SAHM and Homeschoolers we are responsible for 3+ meals a day — not, just dinner. I created my own using Excel and have made it available for you to download and print by clicking the photo below.
Let’s start breaking down our week…
First, look at your “Master Command Center” and see what events coming up this week might interfere with meals. ( IE. HS field trip, sports, birthdays, etc…)
Second, review any time constraints you may run into during the week. This might include meetings, extra company or mouths to feed, etc…
Next, sit down with your family and get them involved with the meal planning. If you are like me, you may be faced with a “picky eater” situation. I find that getting their input on meals tends to help curb the meal time griping!
Now we can turn to some of the details of menu planning.
When considering what and how much to cook I always plan to fix enough of at least one meal a day to package up and save for my husband’s lunch the following day. This helps cut down on the grocery budget (see tomorrow’s post) and gives him an extra home cooked meal for the day. It is my way of showing how much I love and appreciate all the hard work he does to enables me to be at home. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be able to follow God’s calling for our family to homeschool.
If you see that there are any time constraints for cooking during the week, plan simple and easy to prepare meals such as crock pot or bulk cooking. Bulk cooking is fixing one main dish that you can re-purpose throughout the week. Take for example, roast beef. Fix double the beef you would need for a meal. Then serve it as roast for one meal, and BBQ beef sandwiches for a different meal that week. Another thing I bulk cook is hamburger. If you plan to have tacos for one meal during the week and spaghetti another you can brown double the hamburger and refrigerate a portion.
The meal menu also allows you to plan side dishes, such as veggies & fruit. You can also add in a bread or additional foods like dessert or another side item. You can double up on these items as well. Try having broccoli and dip for a lunch veggie and steamed broccoli with cheese sauce later in the week as a supper side.
If you determine you have a rushed morning routine, you may decide to prepare a breakfast that you can make ahead, such as refrigerator oatmeal or freezer pancake mix. I will give more helps with recipes on Day 5!
I hope that this helps eliminate some of the meal time madness! Tomorrow, we will begin to tackle the Grocery List and Shopping. Be sure to check out the other great blogger posts and enter the giveaway below!
I am excited to be part of this 5 day series with a group of great bloggers! This week you can read about organizing things from your kitchen, homschool room, fitness routine and much much more. Make sure to click over to the main landing page and check out all the different topics and post. Also register below for the $35 paypal gift certificate. Visit the other bloggers for more giveaways!
There will also be a “Mommy Time Facebook Party” on Tuesday August 21 at 8pm MDT (9pm Central) on Organizing and Cleaning. See Sidetracked Sarah for more info. about the FB party!