Thursday, September 19, 2013

Menu Planning

after living and learning for several years, I've learned that in order to get meals on the table that my family will eat AND to get groceries at the store that actually go into those meals that it is best for me to sit down, look at our week's schedule and plan out a menu.

I've also learned that for us it is helpful for me to make "plan-overs" where instead of cooking a meal each day, I make a double batch on my cook day and then we eat what's left-over on the next day.  Now that our life is back into theater mode I TRY to plan it so that the left-over day is on a day where we are busy so that I don't have to figure out dinner and rely on "PizzaGuy Pizza"* too much.

Recently when trying to figure out what meals to plan out a friend told me how she has a rotating menu of the same 17 meals that she uses.  That idea seemed good to me.  And it was helpful that I already had from many years ago come up with a similar list only I hadn't put it into a rotation.  I had just wrote out all the meals from each protein that we typically eat.  Which got me thinking about this video, but of course my pickies aren't going to eat items from a Chinese take out menu.  lol

So after my friend made the suggestion, I took all of our list and started putting it into a rotation.  I tried to organize it so that we weren't having silly mix ups like barbeque chicken and barbeque pork in the same week because certain family members would get upset.  Here's my list...

Pork Roast
Chicken tortillia soup
Beef Stew
Ham & Cheesy Potatoes
Chicken "stir-fry"
Beef Stroganoff
bbq pork
Creamy Chicken w rice
Sloppy Joes
Steak & Potatoes
Ham & Mac
Chicken Fingers
beef soup
kaluah pig
Salsa Chicken
Beef Kabobs
Pulled Pork Roast
Chicken Alfredo
Barbecue Ribs
Pork Chops
Breaded Chicken
meatball soup
Italian roast
salsa pork
Barbecue Chicken
Pot Roast
Italian Chicken
Ham & Potatoe Soup

Chicken Salad
Chicken w/ rice soup
For now I don't intend on forcing myself to stick ridgidly to the list.  I'll just take 5 or so meals to plan out my week and put them in where they fit best.  I also don't plan to be making hot soups and stews over the summer months...those might get converted to salads or grilling.

I only started this recently (as in this week's grocery shopping).  I only needed to purchase one meat item to make it work as I had already stocked up on the rest of what I needed before.  YAY!  Nice to go to the store and only need milk.  lol

I'm hoping this makes things much easier.  We'll see.

*many years ago Darly got a Barbie doll house that had a sound chip in it.  Two of the phrases on the chip refer to the Barbie family ordering from PizzaGuy Pizza.  So now our family's running joke is to call up dad at work and request PizzaGuy Pizza.  Which means he stops by Little Cesars' Pizza on the way home from work.


  1. That's actually a very good idea. I know we have certain favorite meals that come up weekly (burgers, pizza), and others Dan always requests (spaghetti). I should plan to keep certain ingredients around on a regular basis. (Which has me wondering why I didn't think of that before).

    1. I know. When my friend suggested it I was wondering why I didn't come up with it sooner. Especially when I had my list started, just not rotating.

      I think you could still make this work with your weekly favorites too. I know you do Friday Pizza day, so just use the list for the rest of the week.

    2. My biggest challenge is Dan's work schedule. He's not home on the same days every week, nor for as many days. Then sometimes he wants something spontaneously, like spaghetti! Still, keeping stoke meal ingredients on hand at all times is a good idea.

  2. Mmm, I want a burrito now.

    PizzaGuy Pizza. I like it. Surely there's a real one of those around somewhere.

    1. I'm pretty sure you have a PizzaGuy Pizza near you. They're everywhere!

    2. worst case you could make pizza bagels...or pizza muffins. ;)

    3. What about a pizza place..... where you make your own pie!!!