As I stated one of the main reasons 2014 sucked troll toes is because I let negativity come in and set up camp. There were several ‘life habits’ that allowed negativity to become such a crippling force but one of the majors ones was the lack of the time management or ‘me’ management.
All my kiddos have officially moved out so besides the occasional visit and my grandson’s overnight stay, I’m an empty nester. So I have all the time in the world right to write, right? Well that’s what I thought so I dumped all my ‘tools of the trade’ for getting a 36 hour day to fit into 24.
One of the things I dumped was menu planning. I was no longer feeding the masses so why did I need to do this? Hubby and I could eat what we pleased as long as it was allowed on the diet train. The result of this new found freedom? I went the grocery store every night on my way home from the crazy day or at least every other day. MAJOR TIME SUCK.
So I’m back to menu planning. Not only will it save me time, it will save me money, we will eat healthier, and will save countless hours. Since our ‘diet’ has changed, I needed to make new ones this weekend. AND I did!!! Go me!!!
My menu planning system is a rotating menu system. I make 6 weeks that I rotate for six months (I change with the seasons – we love chili in the fall/winter not so much in the summer). I don’t necessarily follow the week order – in other words there is no ‘always week 2 menu’. I have two days in the 6 weeks for trying new recipes, if I don’t have any then we eat out 😉
So how do I create my rotating menus???? I know the suspense is killing you 😛
First I create a list of recipes
I start with your tried and true family favorites. I divide them into 3 groups – chicken, beef, and meatless so when go to assign them I can rotate through the list and don’t end up with an entire week of meatless dishes.
Using this list put together as many menus as it allows
Each menu should include the full grocery list. I include all three meals and snacks that way there is no confusion about what to eat during the week (and no time suck trips to the store). I have my grocery list divided by week but I also have a 6 week master so if chicken is on sale I know how much I need for the entire rotation.
Keep your weekly schedule in mind when pick that week’s menu.
I make a couple of the weeks that are mostly crock-pot and one skillet meals for those crazy weeks with deadlines.
It was funny as I did my 6 weeks of menus and grocery list, I was amazed at how easy it was and how much time and money I will save. Then I could only ask myself, why had I stopped?
If you have any questions on menu planning, thoughts, or ideas, I’d love to hear them.