I have to admit, I am not a big planner when it comes to meals. I like to do things as they come to me a lot of the time. The furthest I think ahead is when I defrost a chicken or a roast in the fridge for a couple of days. Every day I check it and the day it has come to the frost-free stage or close to it is when I cook it. I just fill my larder so I have the freedom to take something out in the morning, thaw it in a sink of cold water and decide on the sides when I start cooking.
Apparently menu planning can save a family money. Less vegetable waste. Less freezer burn waste. Also if you plan ahead you can make many things that are sometimes bought pre-prepared, yourself for a fraction of the cost and it is often a lot healthier. Menu planning also gives you an overview on how well you will eat that week. It lets you adjust for lighter meals several times a week when you see that you may be eating on the heavier side the days prior.
My goal with menu planning is mainly to cut down on the grocery bill but also to gradually introduce new foods to the kids by getting them involved in the choices more often and ahead of time. Ella already enjoys browsing cookbook recipes with glamorous glossy pictures of the finished product. I think she is almost primed for my project. Finn is at a difficult food age. Or maybe I should just say mealtime age, and is often disappointed as he sits down to the table until we encourage him to try a few bites and quite often he feels it is quite edible and even enjoys it;) Time to stir up some excitement as he helps choose some meals and actually looks forward to the meals “he” picked. I am sure there may just be a few that he will choose from but as the weeks, months and years go by, I hope to create some new favorites.
I would like to make one day vegetarian. One day a “fun day”. Pancakes, pizza, burgers (for Dad). All from scratch of course. Another day or two, a new recipe we have not tried yet whether it is one of the vegetarian meals, a fun day meal or a meat dish. A day where the crock pot cooks for the day which would probably be on the weekend as we play all day and come home to a meal all ready to eat. The other days I would just like to give over to good old family favorites, which as I was saying earlier may expand with trying some new recipes.
I found a website with a free meal planning template. It also has many other useful template spread sheets to organize your family life.
This is the weekly menu planner http://www.vertex42.com/Files/weekly-meal-planner.pdf
This is the homepage for the Vertex42 website http://www.vertex42.com/