One of the things that I must each week is plan my menu for the next week. I have gone through a few different ways, all of which really work for me, to make and post the menu.
I have a weekly tear off on my Mommy calendar hanging on the fridge that combines both traditional calendar with by-person planner, with an extra line for my menu for the week. It is really how I started with the menu planning, because it let me see what is going on each day as I decide what to make. For instance, on my 10 hour hospital clinical day, I can choose leftovers or Jake cooking something, because I am wiped afterwards. If it is a day that one of the boys is spending the night elsewhere I can plan something that they don’t like, but the rest of us do so everyone is happy. The downside is that it’s big and a little unwieldy, so I have slacked on using it. I still jot down stuff in the top bit of real calendar because it’s easy to get to and easy to remember since it’s on the fridge. It it comes to a time where each person has a lot of things to remember for themselves, I will go back to it.
Another way I choose what we are eating, and always post the menu, is my dry erase board. I love this for a few reasons. First, you can see it from the table and anywhere else in the kitchen so I (mostly) don’t get asked THAT question anymore. I also love that it has my freezer inventory list attached to it so I can see what I have when making the menu, which helps save time and money. Better to use whatcha got instead of buying stuff you don’t got. I try to buy big when sales are good, so shopping my freezer helps me get the best price for my meals.
And finally, the new way I have been planning, has been with sticky notes on my Day-Timer ruler thing, I started using the little tabs a couple weeks ago, and kept them as the week passed. Then, while I was waiting for a store to open, I filled out a bunch more with meals that my family likes. Now what I have been doing is emptying the old week, putting those tabs on the Day-Timer folder they live on, and picking new meals for the next week. Once I got home, I put the meals on the dry erase so everyone can see it, and also making sure I have all the meat that I need for the week, and if there is any other items that I need for the meals. In this case it was potatoes and French bread for the sloppy Joe boats.
The beauty of this is many-fold. I don’t waste tabs because I reuse the ones I have, it is easy to weed out stuff my family doesn’t like or add new things to try, and its portable.
Do you plan a menu? How do you do it?