Here is our menu for this week:
Hubby: Eggs/Bacon, Bagel w/Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter and Banana Whole Wheat Toast, Homemade PopTart, Banana Muffin (all breakfasts served with a piece of fruit)
Meagan: Bran Flakes and Banana, Berry Smoothie, Bran Flakes with Raisins, Overnight Oatmeal, Berry Smoothie
Weekend: Homemade Waffles and Fruit, Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls and Fruit
Hubby: Leftover Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Salad, Tuna x 2 days (all lunches served with a piece of fruit and chips)
Meagan: Salad x 3 days, Peanut Butter Bread and Fruit, Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie
Weekend: Cheese Cubes, Pepperoni Slices, and Italian Bread; Wings with Homemade French Fries, Celery and Carrots
Apple Cider Pork Chops with Stuffing and Broccoli, Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner), Chicken Thighs with Mustard Sauce with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots, French Dip Sandwiches with Mashed Potatoes, Lasagna with Salad, Pizza with Salad, Leftovers
So, there you have it! Our menu for this week. Menu planning works well for us because it makes me think ahead. If I don't have a plan, even if I have enough food stocked in the house to make meals for the week, I won't. I won't think about it until it's dinner time, and then I'm probably too tired or too stressed out to actually make dinner. The result? Dinner out. A lot. I mean, a lot.
Also, when I make a plan, it enables me to make a better grocery list. When I'm not making a meal plan for the week, I would often just wander aimlessly around the grocery store, picking up things here and there that I thought I might like or I thought we might need (more often than not, we didn't). The result? Wasted time and money at the grocery store, along with an unhappy hubby who foots the grocery bill. I'm also able to plan my meals around what I have already in the freezer and the store sales. The result of that? Less money at the grocery and a happier hubby!
Another big plus of menu planning is that it enables me to feed my family better. I'm trying really hard to cut down on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and processed foods. I can explain more about that later, but the point is I want to feed my family good for them food, that I make. There's a sense of comfort knowing exactly what your hubby and kids are putting into their body. If I'm not menu planning I often have to rely on fast food or per-packaged/boxed/canned food. The result? Lots of HFCS along with all kind of ingredients going into our bodies that I don't even know what they are. And that, my friends, does not make me happy!
I've found a lot of great reasons to menu plan. The fact remains that I haven't always done it. It's a new(er) skill for me than for some of you out there. I've only been at it for maybe two years? And it's been very off-and-on at that. I hate, hate, hate, loathe, despise, cannot stand, feel negatively about....however you want to say it...menu planning! I hate having to sit down and decide what we're eating for the week. The main reason? I always feel like we're eating the same thing. Stick around long enough and you'll notice how often pizza makes an appearance on our menu. However, I am recommitting myself to it. It is the right thing to do for our family. To help me out, I'll be joining Keeper of the Home's Stephanie in her six week, "Plan It - Don't Panic" menu planning challenge. It officially starts next week, but some of us are starting this week. Maybe you'll join us?
What are your thoughts on menu planning? Do you have any tips?