I've been meal planning for quite some time now. Typically I write five dinner ideas across the top of the grocery list and that's that. I've always gone with five because at least one night is leftovers and another night would be toast or something similar. It's a system that's worked fairly well, but there's room for improvement. Especially now as I get busier and busier.
On the days that I run, I head out not long after I get home from work. We get in the door any where from fifteen to thirty minutes before the kids get home from school, so they're home before I'm finished my run. By that time it's headed for dinner and I'm trying to shower and hydrate and cook and get the kids going on their stuff. It's not too bad, but on nights where the kids have choir practice or we're hitting up the library it's such a rush.
For the past month I have been meal planning with a twist. I plan out seven dinners for a specific night and I write them on our big fridge calendar. Now Mike and the kids know what's up for dinner on any given night. This is equal parts awesome and the opposite of awesome.
The awesome: Three nights this week Mike looked at the calendar saw what was for dinner and then made it. So awesome to come back from a run and smell dinner cooking away. That's three nights I didn't have to cook dinner! So unheard of prior to this.
The opposite of awesome: The kids know exactly what's on tap for dinner, so they can whine about how they don't want to eat it for days in advance. So far neither of them has noticed that mushroom soup is up tomorrow. As an added bonus.... I'm not exactly sure this has anything to do with posting the weekly menu, but Abby has been game to try all kinds of new foods like Cincinnati Chili (liked) and Tikka Masala (also a like). Oh and another opposite of awesome... Maya is now refusing to eat some of her tried and true favourites. Sigh, maybe one day it will all add up.
Do you meal plan?