Sunday, September 30, 2007

Meal Planning 101

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I am learning now, to be a homemaker. I didn't learn this skill at my mother's knee. What I learned at my mother's knee is that anything I wanted to learn, I could learn from a book...and it is working for homemaking, too!

The one thing that has helped my sanity more than any other is learning how to plan meals. It sounds all simple and 'no big deal' but it was a hard fought and won skill, and I'm really proud of what a difference it has made in my family's life.

I sat down and wrote out every single meal that I know how to make out of my head without a recipe. I thought it would be like 8 or 10 things, but it was 56! I sit down every other Sunday, and make out a menu plan for all the days until the next two weeks. I plan all the breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners for all of the days and then put them on a calander that hangs on the pantry door. There is a little wiggle room, in that I can swap around the dinners if I'm REALLY not in the mood for something one night, but generally I stick to the plan because it makes my life so much easier. I then make my shopping list based on the menu plan, so that I always have every ingredient that I need. I have a neighbor who watches my younger children, while my oldest daughter and I go out to lunch and then to the grocery store for the "Big Shop" where we buy all the groceries. It takes two carts, at Walmart, and then usually we do one other stop at a HFS or at the good Kroger.

I really do not enjoy shopping like that because it is exhausting, however, it saves me so much headache and heartache to have every ingredient for everything I want to make when it's time to make it, that it is worth it.


mom of 3 k's said...

How simple...yet how brilliant!!! I am going to try it. Do you have any picky eaters?

Gem said...

One website I use when I'm bored with all the stuff I know how to make is She provides 5 meals/week with recipes and grocery lists -- for free! They are all tried-and-true, down-to-earth recipes and really help when I get tired of doing menus.

Lisa said...

If you like to meal plan you may want to try out It's nice because it makes your grocery list from your meal plan. You can also import recipes from recipe website like

Samji said...

that is a really good idea. I do weekly diner plans often, but its always such a chore looking through recipes. I need to sit down and makes a list of things that don't really need recipes like you do.