I’ve always enjoyed having a meal plan each week. The week’s that I don’t do it, I am stressed and feel frazzled. I’ve tried so many things over the years, so I thought I would share a few ideas with everyone — things I have personally done at points and times. Perhaps one of these ideas will be something you can use while creating your menu plan:
10 Simple Ideas For Making Meal Planning Easier
1. Plan one night per week to be your “YOYO” night, which means “you on your own”. On this night, each member of your family can decide for themselves what they would like to have for dinner. In my home, the kids heat up leftovers, make a sandwich, have cereal — you name it.
2. If you aren’t in a routine of using your slow cooker very often, consider planning one meal per week that will use this time-saving kitchen appliance.
3. Sometimes planning one day per week to be a take out night can be a lifesaver. You could plan one night per week to be the night you have pizza or Chinese food delivered. Or maybe it’s the one night you pick up sandwiches or fried chicken at the deli. If planning a night like this into your weekly menu plan will save your sanity – go for it!
4. Each weekend, jot down what the family will eat that week for dinner. Post it on the refrigerator so everyone will know what to expect. This helps to keep you focused on what meal is on what day.
5. Let loose and give the kids a fun memory: give each child in your home a specified amount of money to spend on dinner. Let them shop and buy whatever they want for the family. Sure, you might end up eating macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and gummy worms, but it won’t be a night you forget anytime soon!
6. In the cooler months, plan soup, stew, chili, or chowder one time per week. In the warmer months, change to having a salad or sandwich once a week.
7. When a meal consists of something that can withstand freezing, consider making double. By doing so, you will do the work once, but eat twice. Each week, plan one of these freezer meals for one day on your menu plan.
8. Have your children pick one of the meals for the family each week. This helps to make sure everyone has a say in what is served.
9. Create 4-6 different weekly menus and rotate them. After you have use your last week, simply go back to the first week and start all over again.
10. If you feel like you are eating the same thing all the time, don’t fret. Just plan your usual, but always keep one day per week for trying a new recipe.
Do you have one of your own ideas for making meal planning easier? Do you have something standard you do each week? I would love to hear your ideas – be sure to leave me a comment.