I have been piddl'n around with the idea of planning out our menus lately. You know, as opposed to hollering for someone to pull something out of the freezer (at some point in the morning - or early afternoon), and then trying to decide what to do with it later. I've tried to do menus in the past, but never stuck with it very well. And giving my nautral proclivity for forgeting to lay something out to defrost in the first place, I've really been doing quite well lately. The whole, last minute supper decisions thing has only worked because I generally keep a fairly well stocked freezer and pantry. Stocked with the basics anyway. But, since we are aiming at reducing our debt this year, I decided that a menu would be really helpful in staying on budget, and it would force a little more discipline with regard to eating healthy. We do eat a fairly healthy diet, but it could be better with a little more planning.
So, with all that in mind, I sat down last week and planned out a basic supper menu for the month. We only get paid once a month, so I'm still more comfortable with getting the bulk of my pantry and freezer items at the beginning of the month - hence the major planning happening all at once. The fine tuning on the menus will be done by week, and will allow me to make out a grocery store list for things like produce, or to take advantage of what the butcher has on sale. I worked out a menu for part of last week and stuck to it, so I'm hopeful.
Here's what this week's menu looks like:
Mon - Breakfast - Blueberry muffins w/ eggs or cottage cheese (we have several non-egg eaters, they get it from their father, so we allow them an alternate sometimes).
Supper - Beans (a mix of pinto and small red), rice, green beans
Tues - Breakfast - Overnight waffles (I prefer a sourdough waffle recipe I have, but my starter died -at least this one is soaked, and it tastes almost as good as the sourdough)
Supper - Chicken pan pie, mixed veggies (this may change a bit, as we're having company I didn't know about when first planning the menu - a certain amount of flexability must be maintained).
Wed - Breakfast - Biscuts and gravy (I did say fairly healthy)
Supper - Lasagna, salad
Thurs - Breakfast - Smoothies, or fruit topped with yogurt (depends on the individual), and toast
Supper - Teriyaki chicken, rice, zuchinni & onion (I hope the zuchinnis look good, I've been wanting this for days!)
Fri - Breakfast - Eggs, grits, sausage
Supper - Buffaloaf (yep - meatloaf made from ground bison), corn on the cob, salad
Sat - Breakfast - Cinnamon muffins (or if pressed for time, I'll turn it into a coffee cake), applesauce
Supper - Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas & carrots
Sun - Waffles (I usually make these on Sun - the only reason I will make them on Tues is because I missed having them this past Sun)
Lunch - Beef stew, whole grain rolls
You may have noticed that I don't plan out our lunches (except for Sun, when our bigger meal is switched from supper-time to lunch). There are very few lunch items that everyone likes; for instance, if I put PB&J on the menu, I'd either go hungry at lunch or veer from the plan anyway, because while most of the girls will eat it, I absolutely can't stand peanut butter. Same goes for other things, like liver pudding (some call it liver mush); Kay and I like it, but nobody else does. So we allow them to pick what they want for lunch. Several will usually go in together to fix something, and every great once in awhile, they'll all eat the same thing - like when we make tomato soup, or grilled cheese. This also allows all the leftovers (which are rarely in sufficient enough quantities to feed everyone) to be used up.
So there. Maybe putting it out, for the whole world to see, will encourage me to stick with it.