I've decided to start a new weekly feature on my blog to showcase some things that are working for our family at the moment that may or may not be a help to others. With the alliteration in the title I am sure that I am not the first to use it so hopefully it isn't trademarked or anything - sorry if someone came up with this idea before me. I'm not trying to hijack your idea!
The first topic is one that has been a lifesaver for me! I homeschool so during the school year by the time dinner time rolls around without a sound menu plan I was often scrambling to throw something together and we would often eat really late! I have tried many different menu planning ideas but never found anything that really stuck.
Starting during the 2010-2011 school year (I think) I started a basic menu plan during the school week that gave me some flexibility that has really helped me with the "What's for dinner?" question. It goes like this:
Meatless Monday - We don't eat a lot of meat as a family (usually treating it as a condiment) but on this night we go completely meat-free and usually have dahl, baked mac and cheese or another meatless recipe that I want to try.
Taco Tuesday - We usually have tacos but sometimes some other kind of Mexican themed food is on the menu.
Wednesday Soup Night - Wednesday is often a busy day so soup is often thrown in the crockpot or made quickly with cooked meat and veggies from the freezer - I am always looking for good soup recipes so please feel free to send some my way!
Thursday Stir Fry - This night is a family favorite. My usual stir fry is a mix between a recipe that I got out of my Betty Crocker cookbook and one that I learned from a guy who lived downstairs when we lived in Houghton served over rice using whatever meat and veggies we have on hand.
Friday Homemade Pizza - We love homemade pizza. I always have large quantities of yeast, flour, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni for these nights.
Saturdays and Sundays aren't quite so set in stone. Saturdays we often have curry, fried rice (if we have a lot of leftover rice), or breakfast for supper. On Sundays lunch is often leftovers or something in the crockpot when we get home from church and Sunday supper is always POPCORN!! Yum!
This menu plan has given us the chance to try a lot of new and interesting recipes but always know what the theme for the meal is. When the time to make dinner rolls around I already know, based on what day it is, basically what we're having and just have to throw it together. It has really been helpful for me as a busy homeschooling mama.
I know that other people (that don't eat meat as a condiment) have used similar menus with a meat chosen for each day, for example: chicken on Mondays, ground beef on Tuesdays, pork on Wednesdays, etc. Come up with your own theme days to make answering that dreaded "What's for dinner?" question a little less dreaded!
What menu plan works for you?