Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What's on...My Menu

I don't know about you but I kind of love meal planning.  My OCD tendencies loves organizing the details.  Searching Pinterest for recipes, coordinating ingredients among the recipes, and making the grocery list.  I even have my own format to make it super easy when it comes time to make dinner.  Seriously the whole process can be super easy and enjoyable.

The one thing I still struggle with is over planning.  I tend to overestimate my desire to cook all week.  I am working on being more realistic with the amount of days in a week that I will truly cook from scratch.  Normally it is about 4 or 5 times.  I just need to accept that there are days when leftovers or frozen pizza or something else that I already have on hand is considerably easier than a full blown meal that requires ingredient purchasing at the grocery store.

Here is a snapshot of my old planning method.  It worked for awhile but after a few weeks I realized that we don't stick to a daily plan all that well.  Inevitably, we didn't want enchiladas on Tuesday or the hubby didn't feel like BBQ-ing, or whatever.

So I started changing it up by just coming up with various options to choose from during the week.  This format also allowed me to better plan the protein variety in our meals.  I try my best to make sure we are not eating all chicken or beef or pasta or whatever it happens to be during any given week.

I almost always meal plan on Tuesday or Wednesday since I grocery shop mid week.  I check over the calendar to see what day works best into our schedule to go to the grocery store, what we have planned for the week so I know how many evenings we will be home and decide how many nights I need to preplan for dinners. 

The ingredients in blue are items I need to purchase to make the meal.  I try to be conservative and ensure I am using a good mix of food I already have on hand or can be used in multiple meals.

The best part about my sheet?  I just print it out and keep it on the fridge.  When it is time to start dinner, I just scan it over, grab my ingredients and check the recipe right on the paper.  No need to grab a cookbook or run over to the computer to check the directions.

Easy Peasy!  :)

As for breakfast during the week, I just make sure I have cereal, frozen pancakes and yogurt on hand.  Most of our dinner leftovers get sent with the hubby for lunch the day after.  Occasionally, we don't end up with leftovers or the meal just doesn't heat up all that well after the fact so I make sure I keep at least a small amount of lunch meat in the house.

Here are the links to the recipes I am making this week....
Chicken & Avocado Enchiladas
Slow Cooker Beef
Lemon - Dill Chicken

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for her What's On Series!

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