This spring I started menu planning each week (inspired by many blogs I read out in the world wide blogosphere). I am not religious about it (especially this summer and when things get really super busy) but it has definitely simplified my life. The best part of all was unexpected: the girls complained less about what was for dinner!
They also provide input from time to time. This weekend, Macey asked if she could create this week's menu, so I said sure. One less chore for me!!! (And deciding what's for dinner can definitely be a chore.) Her first version had pot roast every other day, followed by leftovers on the other days. Can you tell she loves pot roast? I told her that wouldn't work out too well, so she recreated her menu. While I usually base mine on the week's sale flyers, she went with her favorites. The absolute best part of all is that hubby cooked Monday night and tonight he's cooking most of Wednesday's menu (which got moved to Thursday)- even though he also has his daycard board meeting! WOOHOOHOOHOO!
It is smelling good around here! Macey didn't plan for leftovers, but I'm sure we'll manage to squeeze them in too.
In case you're wondering, the reason Tuesday is not on the menu is that it's the girls' dance day. I am gone from 7 AM to 8 PM and no, I don't pack dinner for us (though I usually do lunch). My life is just too busy for that right now. ;) The board was simple: a small dry erase board and marker. I drew on the grid with a permanent marker so the lines don't get erased away. Also, when I created this board and found the cute little days-of-the-week magnets (at my local WalMart), I had no idea how useful they would be. If we need to shift the menu, I just move the magnets. So much easier than rewriting what's up there!
One day I may make cards of our favorite meals so that I can just take them up there with the magnet, but so far it's no big deal to write in what we're having. I usually just write the main dish, but Macey added a side or two.
Do you menu plan? If so, what helps you most?