Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Menu Planning

Sunday night at church one of the girls in my class (I say girl, I think she's a few years older than me) mentioned something about how she doesn't plan what her family eats for the week because she can't think that far ahead.  Inside my head I was doing the whole CHA-CHING! YES! move.  

I don't menu plan either.  

I've tried.  

Twice.  I've done it twice, but that counts, right?

All the hippie mamas on the Internet swear by menu planning and how it will change your life.  Saving time, saving money, eliminating trips to the store, cutting out confusion over what's for dinner...

But, man, it's a job.  At least it is for me.

I get out all of my recipe books and pull up my Pinterest food board on the ipad, plus some paper and a pen, and try come up with about five different meals that don't feature the same flavors (I'm always heavy on the Italian) and that are borderline healthy, ie including vegetables and not out of a box.  This is harder than it sounds believe it or not.  I want to feed us real food, but sometimes Boots is like, "Where's the meat?" or "This must be something healthy."

I aim for five because with only two of us really eating (Mayhem eats, but not enough to be considered a third person yet) there will be leftovers for lunch the next day or maybe enough for dinner the next night.  I'm not always big on leftovers, but I am HUGE on saving money, so my five planned dinners usually stretch out 7 or 8 days.  

Sometimes, well, usually, when Boots works late I'll just fix a sandwich or something for myself instead of messing up the kitchen for one person to eat.

Then there's the whole side of me not being much of a repeater.  If I was I could just reuse a previous plan or two, but I haven't found the perfect sequence yet.  I like to try new things and if we ate it within the past four months it's either a serious favorite or requested.  Nothing is ever requested.  It's not that everything I cook is so bad he never wants to eat it again (or is it?  Have I been lying to myself?), Boots just never has any opinions on what we eat. 

"Anything in particular you feel like eating?"
"No.  Don't guess so."

Unless it's a real flop.  And when it's a flop we usually agree.  

There are even some menu planning programs out there to help, some free some you pay for, along with countless tip lists on Pinterest.  I'm just not with it.

All that to say this: Do you menu plan or just wing it by throwing something together out of whatever you've got?  If you do menu plan, got any tips?

Don't get me started on freezer cooking.  That's another hippie mama requirement I am not yet fulfilling.


1 comment:

Travel & Dive Girl said...

I always have great intentions on the menu planning/freezer cooking, but they never seem to work out. I'm more of the spur of "what do I feel like" at the moment kind of person. I don't particularly like leftovers either - unless it's pasta and then I'm loving it. Boots sounds like my husband - we call him a meatatarian. I will say, I plan better when my crock pot is involved. I love one dish cooking. Good luck...