Aug 16, 2015

How I Planned My Monthly Menu In Minutes

Menu planning! Do you love it or hate?  Do you even bother to plan out your meals?

There are some really great reasons why you should, especially if you have limited energy due to a chronic illness.

I used to sit faithfully at the kitchen table planning out a months worth of meals,  This was long before everyone was using the Internet and Pinterest hadn't even been thought of.  Yes, I'm admitting that I'm that old.

I diligently sat and wrote down all of our favorite meals for each season.  I included page numbers and titles of the recipe books I may have needed.  I looked through countless magazines looking for the yummiest but most nutritious meals I could make.  I even went as far as making a weekly grocery list that corresponded with my menu plan.

During busy seasons I may have only planned a week at a time but sometimes I would come up with several months since I was already surrounded by my planning supplies.

You may absolutely hate menu planning and that's OK.  I can't say that I love it, but there are some benefits and I bet you already know them.  I heard a young girl speaking on the radio while I was driving to work explaining how she helps her Mom save money by planning their menu.

It's true, taking the time to plan your meals can actually save you time and money.  You won't dread dinner time because you'll already know what you're making.  You won't need to order carry out or swing by the grocery store to pick up frozen dinners.

Having a plan gives you peace of mind and extra time. You can even make some dinners ahead of time, like on your good days, and then you'll have them ready to pop in the oven on those busy days or when you're not feeling well enough to cook.  Get your kids involved too, mine always love helping to prepare their favorite meals.

Somehow I got out of the habit of planning my meals, especially when I was very sick.  Lately, I've found myself asking each of my 4 kids what I should make and that became my meal plan.  It became a problem when my 8 year old only requests spaghetti.

Early on in my Lyme treatment I required a very strict diet. I eliminated all sugar and carbs to help cut down on inflammation and to prevent Candida from the high doses of antibiotics.  This took a lot more planning.  I didn't want to make two separate meals so I did some digging and research in order to find meals and snacks that were nutritious but met my dietary restrictions.

Once I finished this diet and slowly began to eat a less restrictive diet I got lazy.  I try to make nutritious meals for my family.  I do my best to fill up the kitchen with fresh, local or organic produce, fruit, nuts and seeds, and healthy snacks.  I buy local meat and have my milk delivered from a farm.

So, I am working hard to feed my family well but I haven't been making a menu and I noticed that I was dreading dinner time.  I found myself sighing every afternoon before I have to leave for work and frustrated that I had no idea what I wanted to make for dinner or what my daughter could make.

A few weeks ago while my son was playing Lego's at the Library, I decided to look online for a menu.  Usually menus made by others don't really suit our tastes but I happened upon one that I could live with.

I can download it in Microsoft Word and tweak it a little and then print it out and place it on my fridge. Whala!  It took less than 5 minutes and I had a monthly menu.  Perfect!

My thanks goes out to Erica over at Confessions Of A Homeschooler for doing all the hard work for an old Mom like me and helping me to get back on track making meal planning a breeze.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.