Menu Plan {October 6th-12th} and Changes To How I Plan

apple nachos

Last week I decided to change up the way I menu plan a little. None of this will change my weekly menu plans here, but I thought I would share what I am doing to change it up.

First of all I am going to a monthly plan. Or a sort of monthly plan. I have menu planned for years. Basically since I was first married over 19 years ago. No matter what season of life I have been in, menu plans always made my life in the kitchen easier.

Menu planning saved me in both time and money. I have almost always done a weekly meal plan. At times I stretched it to ten days, but I have never really planned longer than that on a regular basis.

Over the last few months though I have realized things just aren’t working with my menu planning. More weeks than not the plan has gone nothing like planned. The main reason for this is life is not the same for me. I mean it is the same, but different because I am at a different stage of life than I was several years ago.

My kids are older. Our schedules are crazier than they were a few years ago. My kids are helping in the kitchen more. They are also eating more than they did a few years ago.

I have said for a long time that there are no rules when it comes to menu planning. The key is making the plan work for you and your life. It is time to take my own advice and stop doing what is not working and find something that does work.

So, it is time for a change when it comes to menu planning and I am giving monthly meal planning a try when it comes to dinners. Now, I am not planning out the whole month at a time, but I am planning out most of it.

I printed out a monthly calendar for the fridge. I know what days are crazy busy and what days some or all of the family will not be home for dinner, so I started with those days when filling in the October plan.

If I know it is a really busy day, I planned a crock pot meal. For most of those days I wrote down the exact recipe, but some days I just put crock pot soup or crock pot roast and then I will decided exactly what it will be closer to that day.

Fridays are pizza night at our house, so that was easy. I just wrote down pizza and will keep various toppings on hand for that.  We almost always end up having breakfast for dinner once a week even if it is not on the plan, so that was another easy one for busy nights. If I did not know exactly what I wanted to fix, I just wrote breakfast and will figure out what we have closer to the date.

I filled in most of the other dates according to what meat and food I currently have in the freezer and cupboards. I will pick up the other ingredients throughout the month.

I plan to give this a try for several months to see how it goes. I will keep you all updated with any tweaks or changes I make.

Another change I am making is having my girls help more with the planning. They have helped with the cooking and planning on and off for the last few years, but I really want to do this more often.

There is so much more to kitchen life than just cooking. There is shopping and planning along with budgeting. Now that both my girls are in their teen years I need to focus more on teaching them the whole part of kitchen life and I think including them in more of the planning will help.

Neither of these will change how I share plans here on the site. I will continue to share the plans as weekly ones like I have always done.

Now I am curious, how do you menu plan? Do you plan weekly, monthly, not at all, or something in between? 

Here is this week’s menu plan.

Breakfast

apple pie oatmeal

Apple Pie Oatmeal

baked cheese grits

Baked Cheese Grits ( I might change this recipe up a little)

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza ( I hope to make two of these this week for the kids to reheat for a couple of days.)

Dinner

cheese-enchiladas

Easy Cheese Enchiladas

Bacon Egg and cheese grilled cheese sandwich

Bacon, Egg, and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches- I put this on for the breakfast for dinner night, but we might skip the bread and just have bacon and eggs, we will see how the day goes.)

oven-tacos

Oven Tacos

Taco Pasta- Quick and easy dinner

Taco Pasta

Crock Pot Mexican Pork Chops from LynnsKitchenAdventures.com

Crock Pot Mexican Pork Chops

bacon wrapped meatloaf

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Pizza

Dessert of the Week

apple-nachos-

Apple Nachos

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. I menu plan every two weeks, and grocery shop every two weeks. (Lately it’s been more often, but things have been crazy.) I don’t plan out breakfast, because most of that is the same basic things: eggs (different types), bagels, oatmeal, cereal, toast, etc. I just always have those breakfast things on hand. I work 1st shift (4 days a week) and hubby works 2nd shift (5 days), so we are rarely home at the same time. It’s easiest for my to just plan ‘dinners,’ that I cook when I am home. We eat a lot of leftovers for lunches!
    One thing that I have always insisted on with my menu planning is that I don’t plan out each day in advance–I have things for those meals on hand, so I can go with whatever I’m in the mood for!

  2. I usually menu plan each week by making a list of meals we want to eat. We shop, cook them on all Saturday, and eat all week.

  3. That’s how I do my menus too! I get a monthly calendar, put in the family’s schedule then plan my meals around that. Busy days are usually crock pot meals and sometimes if I have an ‘easy’ day I make 2-3 dinners ahead of time. I print it and post it on the fridge. I don’t always get to follow it but I mark off the meals as I make them so I make sure I don’t use ingredients for something I didn’t plan for, lol. I use a software program to help me with my list. It has really helped me not forgot ingredients! Between the software, your site and my dry erase wall calendars I have streamlined my life and it is so much easier! Thanks for you site!

    • Oh and I don’t plan the daytime meals. If I see something I want to try I plug it in the software and my calendar on a light day.

  4. I plan by the week. For breakfast we have waffle Wednesday, pancake Saturday and sweet potato biscuit Sunday. The other days are egg sandwiches or scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, BLT’s, baked ham and cheese sandwiches, hash browns or oven potatoes I had never thought of doing them in the oven and I thank you for the recipes! For supper I plan for each day but sometimes switch because I just don’t feel like cooking what I have planned or just really want the other meal! I have fibromyalgia and there are some days I planned a prep heavy meal and I just can’t do it. I also keep ground beef already cooked in the freezer so I can pull together something quickly if need be. I also cook extra on some meals to have homemade frozen meals for the freezer.

  5. Hi Lynn…
    I plan according to my weekly schedule.
    My husband likes to go out to eat on Fridays, so that is a given. We go out.
    Wednesdays I bring dinner to my dad’s and eat with him, so that is based on what I know he likes and it is always a bit fancier ….like a Sunday dinner.
    From there, Monday nights I have Bible study so that meal needs to be easy or prepare in advance. I have to leave the house early. And I build around it all for the rest of the week.

    When we had children at home, I always cooked more than needed when it was something we really liked (like lasagna) and we got two nights out of it.
    Sinea

  6. Lynnemagoo12 says:

    I have just started doing meal plans recently. I have tried the monthly and it has worked so far (fingers crossed). With 6 of us and trying to balance 3 different activities going on a week, it has been a challenge. Your meals have been a awesome help! I aim for at least 2 crockpot meals a week since we live in a consolidated school district and have to travel. Keep up the GREAT job!

  7. Brandette W. says:

    I have been meal planning for a few years now, since we had our little one. It makes life so much easier, even though I am a Stay-at-Home Mom. I defrost whatever meats, veggies I need to at the beginning of the week in my fridge and then can just pull things out each day that I need them. I also usually get out pans, canned goods/etc and set them on the stove ready to go for the next day. I menu plan for the month, pulling family favorites and new recipes I collect from the blogs I visit. We generally keep to our plan fairly well, only straying when something goes a stray like all 3 of us being sick with colds right now. We eat out every Saturday, but all other days i pack lunches for my husband to take to work, make a lunch here for my son, and then we use the menu plan for our dinners. We used to eat out a LOT before our son was born. When I started menu planning it curtailed that a LOT, and that is why we give ourselves Saturday to splurge. Our son is too young for any outside activities or school yet, so this works for our stage of life right now. I am sure thing will get adjusted later down the road.

  8. Nancy Nettles says:

    Lynn, I really appreciate your menus. I always grab one or two recipes when I look through. I have gluten free friends and I send them your recipes as well.
    I’m a menu planner as well. For years I planned monthly menus (always being flexible to circumstances), but now as I have 2 adult daughters one working and one in college, we have switched to weekly menus. Again, being flexible but now we can more easily plan around our busyness!

    • I am so glad you enjoy my menu plans. And thanks for sharing my site and recipes with others. I love sharing gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy.

  9. Lynn, I have two school-aged boys and a husband to plan for, so I’ve been a meal planner for years! :) When the kids were little, of course we ate a lot of quick, kid-friendly things. And now, I’m so tired that I can’t make a good decision by 4 pm so I really rely on that meal plan on my fridge to tell me what I’m doing!!! I work part-time out of the house, so the nights we all arrive home at 6:00, starving, I make something in the crock pot or something fast (spaghetti, breakfast, or sandwiches). One night a week we eat at my mom’s, and one night is choir practice which means the kids eat with the sitter and my husband & I eat alone, after they’re in bed. Almost like a date! :) But it’s all I can do to make a week’s worth of plan at a time – we change the plan, or life intervenes, or we decide last-minute that the day was too much and we go out to eat. (Although I do try to limit that – it’s getting too expensive!) Thank you for all your great plans, and recipes – I love to browse, even if we don’t make too many of them! It’s always great to get more ideas. :)

    Emily

  10. I sort of menu plan. I have a theme for each night of the week. It runs something like this: Monday (chicken/pork), Tuesday (soup), Wednesday (breakfast for dinner), Thursday (something bean), Friday (pizza), Saturday (noodle or rice), Sunday (beef). Sometimes, I just need a little direction. I don’t follow it rigidly either. This week, I am having chicken today because the chicken I bought was a solid brick of ice on Monday. And, when we get a build up of leftovers, I stop all new meals and we have an “eat all the leftovers” night.
    I must admit that my week runs much smoother when I have a plan.

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