I did it! I finally did it! After years of thinking this would be a good idea, and reading blogs of other moms who do it....
I planned 7 (yes, 7!) weeks of dinner menus!
Back at the beginning of the school year, I was overwhelmed and decided to use my new Everday Paleo book for meal planning. It came with 4 weeks of menus, including the all-important shopping list to match, and it was just what I needed to make my life easier.
Now that I've been through the whole book, and I saw that we were missing some of our old favorite meals, I decided to plan my own menus. I sat down Saturday with my cookbooks and went through them, making lists of dishes by category: chicken, beef, seafood, pork, vegetarian, etc. Then, I pulled out 6 for each week, varying the categories, and we have 7 weeks worth of menus with no repeats.
Yesterday and today, I spent my time going through each recipe, making a list of each ingredient for the shopping list. I put everything on the computer with a spreadsheet for the shopping list for each week. There are plenty of blank spaces to add special items for lunches and breakfasts, which I don't plan. We have our staples, plus we eat dinner leftovers a lot.
We went to the store today after I checked the list and scratched out all the things we already had. It feels so good to be fully prepared for the week! I'm already thinking ahead to when the weather turns warm again and we won't want chili or soup, but I think it will be pretty easy to simply add a couple of weeks of summer recipes.
Do you have a meal planning device that saves your sanity?