Meal Planning

I'll be honest. I despise meal planning. My family is not good at it. I'll sit down on the weekend, with good intentions, cookbooks in front of me, paper and pen at the ready, grocery ad nearby, and ask the futile question "What do you guys want to eat this week?" I am usually met with blank stares and a response of "I dunno." Lovely. And then, even if we do manage to come up with a list of ideas for the week, actually sticking to the list is hard. We'll do good for a day or two, and then something happens. We'll be running late, something will come up, we just won't want what is on the list for the day, etc etc. All hope is lost, and we abandon the list all together. I'm not saying this is right, I'm just saying this is what happens in my crazy household!

The problem is that we really need a meal plan! Four out of five weeknights, we have late nights. Or at least late in my opinion. Extracurricular activities (mostly for the 8 year old) have us getting home between 6:30 and 7:00. By the time we get supper cooked, eat, get homework finished, get baths and showers, and ready for bed, it's late!! And that particular 8 year old is one that needs lots of sleep, so late nights are not good around here. But when we fall into the trap of stopping to get takeout on the way home, or resorting to sodium-filled prepackaged convenience foods, well that doesn't do any of us any good either.

I have discovered, however, that instead of making a strict meal plan, meaning Monday is this, Tuesday is that, etc, that coming up with a few meals to have sometime that week tends to work better. At least a little. So, what's a girl to do? Keep trying! Or, if you're a fan of "Meet the Robinsons"...keep moving forward! :) And with my due date being a week from tomorrow, we definitely need to come up with some sort of plan!

If you do an Internet search for meal planning, you'll come up with tons of websites, articles and even books on the subject. There are even services that, for a fee, will email you a meal plan each week, complete with a shopping list. I've actually tried a couple of these, and we were met with the same fate as when I try to do it myself. And apparently my family is quite picky too...makes things a little harder.

What's the point of all this? Eh...who knows; I'm mostly rambling. :) Well, the point is that I'm going to try to do better about planning out meals, and actually sticking to it. Granted, once the baby is born, all my planning will probably go out the window, but that's almost to be expected!

So, do you meal plan? Please don't tell me you do a whole month at a time...I feel bad enough that I can't stick to a weekly plan!! ;) Seriously, if you do meal plan, how do you do it, and how to you stick to it? Tell me your secrets!!!


sevgi said…
Meal planning can be a challenge and for someone like me who does not like to be rigid, it can be extra challenging. I figured out a way to do it that works for us. I meal plan on a weekly basis, but do not get fixed on the days. Based on the ingredients I bought at the store, we eat what we feel. The only exception is, we tend to eat the meal with fresher ingredients at the beginning of the week. Also, I use recipes that are not very challenging or time consuming, ideally 30 minutes or less. However, depending on my week, some meals take up to 1 hour. If you like, read on how I did it on my site.
Good Luck!!
Katrina said…
I don't meal plan really at all (but should at least like you mentioned, have a few ideas in mind for the week). Too much work and the things we eat depend a lot upon what we're in the mood for and what I feel like making at the time. Sometimes my husband eats leftovers, the kids have hot dogs and I make myself a salad. Nuttin' wrong with that.