After much trial and error, I have discovered that doing a monthly meal plan works best for me.
- I only have to sit down once to create a meal plan - not four or five times.
- I have an idea of what we're doing the entire month which works out perfect for a busy schedule.
- I can shop ahead - if I plan on making chicken alfredo, chicken enchiladas & grilled chicken in a month I can look for larger packs of chicken, which are often less per pound than smaller packs.
- I like to shop every two weeks and knowing what my plans for the month are help me stock up when things are on sale.
I use a calendar for my meal plan - I like to be able to see each day on the calendar and I enter what we are having for dinner as well as any activities going on that day. And I always write in pencil because I usually end up changing at least a couple of days during the month.
Here's what my February looks like:
Cheesy chicken vermicelli & steamed broccoli
Chili & salad
Tortellini w/marinara, salad, bread
BLT's & fruit
Chicken enchiladas & salad
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Baked potato bar & fruit
Homemade macaroni and cheese
Salmon, rice, grilled red, green & yellow peppers
Mini pepperoni pizzas & salad
Chicken sausage, veggie tray
Baked Ziti, salad, bread
Pretty basic stuff this month due to sports schedules. On those nights I like to have quick & easy options that I can serve in shifts. A couple of those days I will make sandwiches (usually grilled cheese or tuna).
For breakfasts I do cereal or oatmeal during the week and eggs on weekends. Lunches for LM & me are sandwiches. My husband eats lunch out most days at business lunches.