|Our weekly menu plan is kept on the refrigerator for easy reference. |
Previously menu plans are stored in the recipe binder to aid in menu planning in the future
|Homemade beef stroganoff, peas and carrots|
We prefer to plan only one week at a time. A weekly plan allows the menu plan to accommodate changing preferences for foods/meals. It also preserves optimum ripeness and selection of produce. Since we have lived in small spaces, we've found it imperative to minimize the storage demand on our home. Although stocking up can be beneficial, we simply haven't had the space to store more than one week's groceries at a time. Finally, a weekly plan allows each of us an opportunity for us to each have some time alone while the other person shops.
|Homemade macaroni & cheese with mixed vegetables added.|
(Shh! The children have only had it this way and don't know
mac & cheese typically doesn't have vegetables! haha ;) )
Since breakfasts and lunches are pre-planned and lunches are leftovers, dinner is the main meal we need to plan each week. We aim to alternate meat and meatless meals for taste and cost purposes. We'll find new recipes or use favorites stored in our family recipe binders. We don't necessarily plan according to daily themes (ie. "Meatless Monday," "Taco Tuesday" etc) for weeknights. We do, however, use themes as a framework. For instance, we typically include a pasta meal and fish/seafood meal. Occasionally, I'll make a slow cooker meal or casserole. During the winter we'll have a soup each week. During the spring/summer, David enjoys cooking a meal outside on the grill. Friday nights and Sunday nights are the two only nights that we do tend to have set themes. Friday nights are always pizza night. We make our own homemade pizza as a fun way to end the week and welcome the weekend! On Sunday nights, we typically enjoy a variety of quesadillas and perhaps chips and salsa on the side. When something comes up or life is particularly busy at the time dinner needs prepared, we may veer from the plan and have a "backup meal." Back up meals may be a frozen dinner (stir fry, pot pie, chicken broccoli casserole etc). Although these serve the purpose, they're not used very often due to the expense and poor nutrition (whoa, sodium!). Occasionally, I will have made extra portions of a dinner and freeze the second one for back-up meal option. (We frequently eat these when David has to travel for work so that my cooking and cleaning workload is lightened). Canned soup is also another option, especially preferable to have on hand during times of illness. Jars of pasta sauce and dry pasta store well in the pantry and are quick and easy to serve. When all else fails, there's breakfast for dinner or carry-out!
|Enjoying snack time together!|
I neglected to mention feeding babies. This matter could probably comprise an entire post on it's own! Our general rule is that the children are expected to eat with the family. We do not offer "kid foods" or separate food/meal options. Consequently, the children have learned to eat a large variety of foods!
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