I did it! I finally got on the ball and created a menu plan for the month. I'm a little late in getting it ready, so this month will carry us through the first few days of December. But I am so relieved to have it completed.
I actually had a goal of creating a seasonal menu plan. I had the idea that since I tend to prepare meals that go with the different seasons (i.e. - grilling in the summer, comfort foods in the colder weather, etc.) that this made sense. With each season being 13 weeks, I thought I could come up with 5 or 6 weeks of menus that were organized by meals that fit nicely together for grocery shopping, as well as being balanced as far as variety goes. Then I thought I would just pick whichever list I wanted that week. The menu would be ready to go, I would just have to create a grocery list from that week's menu based on what I already had. And I could repeat which ever weeks I wanted to to complete the season. Great idea! But reality and time are interfering.
So I will settle for my 4 weeks of menu plans. Settle is and understatement. . . I am thrilled to have this completed! And I thought I would share it with you!
I only make a menu for our evening meals. That's the one that gives me the most trouble. We have a handful off choices for breakfast and lunch that we are accustom
to, so I don't include those on my list. I also didn't assign days to my meals, giving me the opportunity to adjust the menu according to our week's schedule.
I tried to pair some like food items together, but at the same time I wanted a balance that offered variety. For instance, I don't want 4 pasta meals in one week. We do have some regulars though. Sunday is our Taco / Nacho night. With the day being so hectic. Tacos or Nachos fit in nicely - they're easy to make and a bit of a favorite at our house anyway!
I also only listed 6 meals, because there are always one or two items that make plenty for leftovers - so we always plan a leftover night. And sure enough there is usually a night that requires something simple. . . like leftovers. But in the off chance that I don't have any leftovers, I usually try to keep a frozen pizza on hand or we might choose to do pancakes or waffles that night - simple and I almost always have everything we need for that.
I also didn't list all the vegetables or sides that we usually have with a meal. In most cases, I only listed the main dish. I almost always have a veggie with my meals and maybe another side or two. For instance, with spaghetti or lasagna we will usually bake a loaf of bread and have a green veggie. We've just naturally fallen into a pattern of what we like to have with certain main dishes, that I don't bother to list it all. This also leaves you variety to choose what you like!
I hope this menu plan is a blessing to you! And if you have any questions about a certain recipe, leave me a comment - I love to share! Enjoy!