Monday, February 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first Menu Plan Monday. Like most of you I find that if I don't plan for the week, I end up scrambling from day to day trying to figure out what to serve my family.
For several years I have used a 30 day menu plan with approximately 20 meals that I try and rotate. Every month I try and add two to three new recipes and remove any that weren't working for us. Planning ahead also forces me to shop in advance and have extra ingredients on hand for unexpected visitors etc. Ideally, I like to shop only once a month for all my staple items for my planned meals, and then shop once a week for the fresh ingredients. This greatly reduces my grocery bill when I stick with this plan. I am able to better take advantage of sale items and other specials when I have a plan.
I have also tried to have a cooking day once a month in which I will cook several pounds of boneless chicken and freeze in 2 to 3 cup portions for several dishes. I also have a few casseroles that freeze nicely.
The family meal time is one of the most important times of our day during the week. I try and create an atmosphere in which we truly "come to the table". Tuesday is usually our Mexican theme night. Friday nights we sometimes have carpet picnics depending on what I am serving. Occasionally, we have "table talks", play a simple game while eating or a family favorite is having each child share about their day. And now that our children are getting older we have added devotions right before the meal. Our two year old is the only one I serve ahead of time so that he remains quiet while daddy is reading and sharing. Some evenings everything goes nicely as planned and other times it is chaotic. Perfection is not the goal in my planning, but to create an environment in which my children can experience the love of family as well as receive both spiritual and physical nourishment.
Here is what I hope to serve my family this week all of which are part of my 30 day plan.

Monday: Spaghetti with meatballs, Salad and garlic bread

Tuesday: Taco Soup, Chips and salsa

Wednesday: Chicken Packets, corn and red potatoes

Thursday: Roast Beef and Gravy and Steamed Veggies

Friday: Enchiladas with rice and beans

Saturday: Super simple Beef Stew with homemade biscuits

Sunday: Lasagna with salad and cheese bread

For more menus and great recipe ideas go to Organizing Junkie


melanie said...

I am heading over to your house, what time is dinner?? I try to do at least a week too, it helps bunches. Great ideas for at the table, it really is cherished time together with how busy life can be!

Annie said...

Your menu sounds great.
I have four children ages 16 to 4... they are so busy lately I have to insist on dinner at the table sometimes! It is nice to eat together and discuss our day.
I like the idea of 30 days of meals.

gail@more than a song said...

Your first menu plan Monday! Planning helps me too.
I love taco soup, I'll come by!

Anonymous said...

Great looking menu!

Kim said...

This sounds delicious,Chris!!! The more I get to know you,I just know we would be great friends!

I love all your ideas for making meal time special.

I love this time of the day at our house...daddy is coming home,everybody is ready to talk and visit...we usually have great times around the dinner table...well,except when JH decides to dump his dinner in the floor. Sometimes it can be chaotic,too!


Anonymous said...

We may just all check in on Monday and fix what you're fixing all week!
I had a tattered old red spiral notebook with all our weekly menus in it and it bit the dust in a "clean and clear and toss" moment. Dumb.
The family table is such a chaotic, crazy, funny, precious place. Way to be so intentional!!

Susanne said...

Oh yum, can I be one of those unexpected guests. I forgot to do this today so I'll be a day late because you are right. It's so much easier when you're not trying to think of something at the last minute.

Anonymous said...

Welcome! :o) Your menu sounds wonderful this week!!

Cyndi said...

What a yummy week! I love how you said, "perfection is not my goal." Me, neither! My kids won't grow up remembering those "perfect meals mom used to make" but they do look forward to dinner time each night and I love it when we all "come to the table" as well. I loved reading your menu! You are such a fun mom. :)

Unknown said...

You have some yummy recipe choices. See you next week.