I’m trying something new this month with our November Menu Plan. Some might call it boring. Predictable. Or even uninspired.
That’s okay. I’m hoping I’ll be calling it “the easiest month ever” by the end of it. (You know those times in your life when you just need it to be a little easier? This is one of those times.)
So, here’s the deal: For the month of November, I’m making one five-day plan and just repeating it every week. That’s right — every Sunday thru Thursday, we’ll be eating the same thing as the last Sunday thru Thursday.
You may be wondering just what inspired me to revert my menu planning to the creativity of a school cafeteria? Well, here’s the thing: I realized that Thursdays are currently the easiest meal day of my week. That’s because I know, my husband knows, and the kids know that Thursdays are Pizza Night.
I always have the ingredients in the house, and if I don’t – it’s easy enough to run out to get them. I’m not wasting time looking up recipes or tripping over myself to try something new. I just go on “auto pilot” and get dinner on the table.
We’ve really been struggling ever since our move with menu planning. Between the chaos of moving and the disruption of the chagim, we’ve fallen into some bad habits. I know full well that menu planning makes my life easier and saves us a ton of money; and yet, the plan too often lately has been “fly by the seat of our pants.”
So this month, we’re stripping it down to the basics with the following “repeating” menu plan:
Sundays – Spaghetti & Meatballs (last night, I made garlic rolls, too – fancy!)
Mondays – Crockpot roasted chicken (I’m trying the Happy Housewife’s method this week, and using her suggestion about chicken stock for my Friday night soup) with mashed potatoes & salad
Tuesdays – Cauliflower & tofu over quinoa (My kids actually love this and it takes all of 10 minutes to prep it and get in the oven)
Wednesdays – Crockpot Chili (my husband makes dinner on Wednesdays 🙂 )
Thursdays – Pizza Night
We always keep frozen broccoli and salad fixings in the house, so we can fill out our plate with veggies.
In addition to simplifying the process of meal prep, I’m also hoping that it reduces our need to go to the grocery store. Do you know the best way to save money at the store? Stop going to the store! With this plan, I know what I need for the whole month, so I can buy enough ground beef on the 1st of the month for the next four weeks. Really, it’s kind of like minimalism meets meal planning!
Last night at dinner (over our plates of steaming spaghetti and meatballs), I shared the plan with my family. They kids were amazingly receptive — I think it’s true what they say about children craving routine. I also told them that we can change things up in December, if they find that there’s something they don’t like about this new system. (Ideally, every month would have a different five-day rotation anyway.)
Now, I realize that the foodies among you are no doubt rolling your eyes at this crazy idea, but maybe a few of you will be nodding along with my rationale.
Have you tried a repeating menu? Does it get too boring or do you and your family appreciate the predictability of it? More importantly, has it made your life easier?!