Mondays - pasta
Tuesdays - soup, salad, and/or sandwiches
Wednesdays - stir fry
Thursdays - crock pot
Fridays - pizza
Saturdays - something new
Sundays - something easy
I basically do what you see on this picture below.
I write Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner and leave space to write 7 meals for each one. I don't specify like Monday is this , Tuesday is this. I just like the freedom of choosing from the list what sounds good. I didn't on this particular one but I usually write a grocery list based on what I need for the week.. and a list of snacks I wanna make and try out. Our are pretty simple but I like to try something new like 2-3 times a week.One is usually leftovers for lunch and one is just something super simple cause Dennis and I do date night and usually go out for dinner. SO why menu plan I mean what does it really profit you? Well that is the point isn't it? It needs to work for you and make life easier NOT harder, so do what works. Simplify simplify!
Well I'll tell you several benefits that I have found.....
1. Saves us Money
Hands down if you go to the grocery store with a plan and list you WILL save money! Often the best thing is to look in the freezer, fridge, and pantry most likely you have many meal ideas right in there. I mean for example; its not super exciting, but one of the easiest meals for us and cost effective is black beans spiced up with rice served rolled up in whole wheat tortillas with sour cream and salsa and I'll serve it with salad or another veggie and some sliced up navel oranges. I almost always have beans, salsa and sour cream and brown rice.. so just purchase tortillas and I'm set for a meal. That's just one example but most likely you have more than you think.It also gives me a chance to look up any coupons or cut ones out more purposefully cause I know what I'm making. If chicken is a great deal, were eating chicken this week..etc
2. It helps us eat better overall
We don't stay away from pre-made processed foods completely but this helps. I have found on average that it really doesn't take that long to make something from a box verse making it from scratch.. No really I'm not joking... so its cheaper to make your own stuff most of the time. Also I'm not getting random things at the store I don't need or I feel better getting that yummy coffee drink at Wegmans cause I'm saving the mola!
3.Saves Time and stress...
It just saves time overall, no more wondering at the last minute rush what are we eating... so less stress there and helps with planning ahead of time. I need to take the ground beef out of the freezer for tomorrow or whatever. And with those of us with little kiddos you know how valuable time can be. Sometimes I may make double and freeze it for another meal, or roll leftovers into another meal like leftover chicken from last nights meal becomes chicken salad for lunch or chicken noodle soup. Having that plan lets you see all this. To be honest a few times of doing this you get to know your favorites and it becomes something you do in no time. On average we eat similar things for breakfast and lunch and switch things up a bit for dinner. Having trouble figuring out some ideas.. I'd recommend just searching on google" meal plans". Out in blog world I have seen so many people post their own..gives you a great many ideas.
So I'm a big fan of it at this house... how bout you ?