How I Menu Plan
My husband and I have been doing rough menu planning since we moved in together way back in 2002. It’s such a nice way to make grocery shopping more efficient, reduce food waste, and take away one decision every day. I’m all about reducing decision fatigue! I also like that menu planning really reduces my desire to go out to dinner or get takeout. Homemade dinners are so much healthier for you and fun to make!
Some people plan out meals for every day in the month or assign meals to specific days of the week. I’m a more casual and flexible person and really appreciate having some flexibility in my planning. That way, if something comes up and I need to make a quick dinner, I don’t feel stuck in a giant, complicated recipe and end up eating at 10:30 at night.
I choose about three dinner options for the week (we like leftovers around here!) and one or two breakfast ideas. I’m generally more casual about lunches and eat whatever I’m in the mood for. I don’t do a lot of meal prep because I find cooking relaxing, but I will meal prep breakfasts for the week. My baby gets up early and it’s great to have something ready right away in the morning. On Sundays, I generally make waffles, pancakes, or French toast, so that’s in my meal plan pretty much every week.
Once I choose what meals I’ll be making for the week, I start writing my grocery list. Then I post the meals on my DIY Mini Menu (tutorial coming soon!). Every night I look at my menu and decide what I’m in the mood for and how much time I have. It’s that simple!
I find that meal planning helps so much and gives a lot of focus for my week. I also find it fun posting my menu so my husband knows what to look forward to that week and can help out with a meal or two. If he knows what we’re having and the ingredients are already in the fridge, he can just jump in and cook whenever he can. That helps make the work sharing simpler and easier!
What does your meal planning look like? Do you like to meal prep one day a week or cook every day? Are you a “leftovers family” or do you prefer having fresh food every day? Let me know in the comments below!