Planning a Month’s Worth of Meals
Tips and tricks for planning a month’s worth of meals for your family.
As much as I love to cook and be in the kitchen, getting dinner on the table every night is no easy feat. It takes some serious organization and planning, not to mention some creativity to please five different palates. My husband is a recovering picky eater, and our children are young (ages 3, 6 and 7). You can imagine the challenges I face!
My husband and I established some rules early on and have stuck with them. The most important rule is that I make one dinner and one dinner only. If the children chose not to eat it, they are out of luck. While that may seem harsh, it gives them the control, and most of the time, they eat what I serve them. Every night, we turn off the TV, sit at the table and don’t answer the phone. It’s nonnegotiable. The children set the table and clear afterwards. Everyone has some ownership, and it makes getting dinner on the table every night easier.
When I am done with my grocery list, I paper clip all of the recipes together and tape the meal plan to the refrigerator. That cuts down on all of the “What’s for dinner?” questions because everyone in the house knows where to look. Do I follow the meal plan exactly as written? Almost always, but things do come up. Sometimes I plan meals that need to be started in the afternoon, and life happens. Maybe I couldn’t find an ingredient at the store. In those cases, I just replace that dinner with another one in the plan.
Planning out meals is time-consuming, but it is a job that I look forward to every two weeks. An hour of planning frees me up for the next two weeks. I know what’s for dinner and have the ingredients in the house. It’s just a matter of preparing the meal. Best of all, we spend more time together as a family and spend less money on food since we no longer eat out. Plus, the quality of the food we eat is so much better. It is a win-win for all of us!