Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Weekly meal calendar....

Last year, I tried to make the commitment to a meal calendar, and failed miserably.   I am trying to figure out why I couldn't stick with it.   I was inspired by my family's many camping experiences - you simply HAVE to make a menu plan for camping, or else you aren't going to eat very well on a camping trip.   But somehow it requires more energy than I could summon.   I've had some luck in the past with committing certain days to certain things - i.e. crockpot day, pizza day, etc.   Maybe I should play on that theme and select a main dish style for that day.   At the beginning of the school year, I proposed that the cherubs each take a day of cooking.  That lasted about a week, mostly because of my failure to plan adequately.  By the time I was in middle school, my mother had gone back to work and my sister and I switched off making dinner every night of the week.  If my memory serves me correctly, we made a lot of spaghetti with jarred sauce and hamburger.    What to do?

Here are my options:

  • Monday: Husband cooks - he doesn't work Mondays.  It's a busy night for us. We have trumpet lessons and Boy Scouts.  We have to leave the house at 5:45 pm
  • Tuesday: Kids have catechism, it would make sense for one of them to cook so they could eat before they left. One night a month I have a church meeting
  • Wednesday:  One night a month I have a church meeting
  • Thursday:  Kids have piano - it would make sense for one of them to make dinner because we have to leave the house at 6 pm.  Not a lot of time to cook and eat.
  • Friday:  Most of the time everyone's home and no regular commitments
  • Saturday:  We usually try to go to church at 5:30 Mass...makes for a good dinner that can be in the oven for an hour while we are gone.  Farmer's Market day - lots of good food inspiration
  • Sunday:  Usually my grocery shopping day.  Great day for cooking ahead and big cooking projects.


Lauren said...

I admire your efforts. I've tried to adhere to meal planning as well and failed miserably...mostly because I tend to get bored halfway through the week and change my mind.

What we have found useful is not to necessarily plan specific meals but to keep certain things on hand so that we can always make a variety of something--there has to always be rice, pasta, canned beans, canned tomatoes, eggs, frozen cheese pizzas or pizza dough and frozen meat of some sort---generally at least hamburger and chicken. Then on busy nights or "tired" nights or nights with little time we can make fast Mexican meals, pasta or top our own pizzas. On nights when we have more time we can do steamed chinese pork or chicken buns or egg stratas or something. We also look at whatever's on sale that week and buy it and make something out of it on the nights that we really have a lot of time to spare.

I keep a list of the easy versatile meals we can regularly do in my evernote, and then a list of the for sale items from the stores for the nights I want to make something more special.

It works for us; I don't know if anything up there is helpful for you..but I wish you luck!

lookinout said...

I find planning tough too. There are a number of websites which offer menus and some of them offer grocery lists along with the recipes. There is also which offers the whole package weekly, based on your indicated number of people, and in some areas, their menus are based on the local flyers.

Sandy said...

Eventually I changed up... expanded to lasagna pretty regularly, but I think you were away at college during the lasagna years.