If I had a dollar for every time I’ve thought “I have no idea what to put on next week’s meal plan” I’d have a lot of dollars…. like enough to pay for eating out everyday and not having to worry about meal planning! 🙂 Let’s face it, as much as I love meal planning and how it organizes my life while saving us money – it IS just one more job to do. It adds a certain amount of stress to my weekly home obligations that I would prefer to avoid if possible.
Thankfully there is a perfect fix available – a rotating meal plan calendar
. (Check out our Rotating Meal Plan board
on Pinterest if you’d like a few inspirational ideas.) Fortunately starting a rotating meal plan calendar for your family isn’t very difficult – so there is really no good excuse for the fact that I still haven’t finished making mine, argh. To get started follow these simple steps
- List out at least 14 meals your family loves. The number of meals you list determines how often you rotate your meal plan. For example, a list of 14 meals means that your family will rotate and eat the same things exactly every two weeks. If you can come up with a list of 30 meals then you’ll only eat the same meal once a month. Make sense?
- Group your list of meals based on perishable ingredients. I hate to waste food or not use something up before it goes bad – for that reason I like to purposely plan to eat meals that require similar perishable ingredients close together. (Note: I say perishable because things that can be stored for long periods of time are not a problem to keep around. I freeze butter milk for example, but items like sour cream I prefer to use up right away.) A great example in our family is sour cream – I like to clump quiche and a mexican meal close together so that we use up the entire tub of sour cream.
- Post your schedule for the family to see. No more children (or spouses!) asking “what’s for dinner?” The menu for the upcoming days & weeks will always be visible for everyone to see.
- Looking for extra credit? As you make your grocery list each week based on the meal plan ahead – create a neat copy, that way you’ll never need to create a new shopping list for that week’s food again. Since you’ll eat the same food again in a few weeks you can just reuse the same grocery list – talk about a serious time saver!
What are you waiting for?! Get out a pen & paper and start listing out your families favorites right now. You’re just a few steps away from a rotating meal plan that will please the whole family, save you time & money. Happy Meal Planning! 🙂