Currently, I make meal plans for two weeks at a time. I keep thinking about switching to monthly plans but,honestly, I like the two week plan. I usually have a pretty good idea of plans over the next two week period. Plus my refrigerator is stuffed at times even with a two week plan.
Are you wondering how to get started? Let me help. I use forms from Money Saving Mom. I like the vertical two week plan and the grocery shopping list. First off, I add to my shopping list staples like cereal, milk, butter, eggs, etc. Then I begin by filling in dinners that I know we will want onto the two week list. If I need more ideas, I have a couple of “go to” cookbooks and a notebook filled with recipes that I have printed from online. Usually a quick look through one of these will help me complete the dinners. I only plan for breakfast or lunch if there is something special going on. For breakfast, I just make sure I have an assortment on hand including oatmeal, cereal, frozen biscuits (Wal-mart brand is the best), bagels, eggs, and low fat sausage. Lunches are almost always leftovers. This works well for us since we homeschool.
Now I will say that many advocate plans that are much more specific for the overall. However, I have found that once I started planning dinners and being determined to stick to the plan everything else fell into place. My attitude changed. I honestly do not like eating out any more. Furthermore, at the end of the two weeks I feel like I have won a marathon by carrying out the plan.
I think with today’s busy schedules it is so easy to think it is easier and perhaps quicker to grab something out. At this point, I would challenge that notion. Our family has so much more quality time since I started being diligent about our meal plans. There are no words to describe how much it has changed our family. I hope yours will enjoy the same changes as well.
By the way, tonight’s dinner is Chicken Marsala, mashed potatoes, and green peas! Hum!