Guest post from Sarah of Early Bird Mom
For a while, I had been planning out all our meals a week at a time: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. It didn’t take a lot of time and it was nice to take a glance at my menu and know what to cook.
But over the past few months, this practice had fallen by the wayside and my family was getting tired of the same couple of stand-bys for dinner.
So even though I didn’t want to, I reluctantly wrote “Menu Plan” on my to-do list the other day.
Why do I dread menu planning?
The menu planning itself isn’t that difficult. The problem, I think for me, is that making a menu reminds me of all that cooking! Somehow I think if I don’t make a menu, the cooking will take care of itself; of course nothing could be further from the truth!
If you also dread menu planning, here are two quick tips to help you plan your menu in 10 minutes or less!
1. Start with a previous menu plan.
I pulled up an old menu plan on my computer to refresh my memory. I like saving old menus on my computer – they are a great source of inspiration.
I deleted a couple meals from the menu that didn’t interest me this week. Then I filled in the breakfast column. Breakfast around here is usually oatmeal, eggs, smoothies or brown rice with brown sugar and milk. By this time, I’m halfway done! I’m gaining momentum!
Then I checked my calendar to see if there are days when we need a crockpot dinner or when we might have extra time for baking. A couple more entries go on the menu.
Note from Crystal: If you don’t have any old menus to look at for inspiration, you can check out my weekly menu plans.
2. Take note of foods you already have in the house.
I quickly looked downstairs in our second fridge and realized there was a lot of cauliflower that needed to be eaten – this will work for Tuesday’s side dish. I decided to thaw some chicken for Wednesday. Tonight will be Tilapia since we have lots in the freezer.
I filled in the remaining blank spots with a couple more of our favorite recipes.
That’s it! I’m finished.
All in all, this took less than 10 minutes of my time — and I feel a lot better about the cooking for the week.
The cooking still has to be done whether or not I plan ahead, but it sure is nice to know ahead of time what I am going to make for dinner.
What are your tips to quickly plan a weekly menu?
Sarah is happy to have a loving husband and 4 of the most rambunctious boys you’ll ever meet. She blogs at Early Bird Mom all about helping moms get more done at home and in home business.