It’s already September 6th, but we’ve sort of been flying by the seat of our non-menu planned pants these past few days! I finally managed to sit down last night and map out our month’s worth of meals.
A few caveats:
- I’m once again sticking to theme days, but I’m making one major substitution: I’m swapping out our Tuesday Mexican night for an “Israeli” night. While three of us love Mexican, my second son really, really does NOT like it – and I was tiring of the kvetching. I’m sure I’ll work some Mexican-themed food into our Shabbat menu plans, since I’d miss it otherwise. But I did want to try something new this month.
- I’m keeping BBQ on the schedule for Sunday nights, but I suspect that this will be the last month we can really do that. I plan to eek every last bit of summer out of this season, though!
- I haven’t yet planned for our Rosh Hashana meals. Since they are pretty much at the end of the month, I’ve still got some time. Frankie and I sat down last night and started talking about meals – who we wanted to invite, what meals we wanted to host, etc. Until we get our plans solidified – hopefully in the next few days – the menu planning seemed premature.
As you might recall, I switched to themed menu planning at the beginning of the summer as an experiment. I wanted to find a new way to simplify my menu planning – which this really has. Instead of needing to shop for 30 different dinners each month, now I just make sure I have the basic staples on hand for each of the themed days.
Sometimes I will choose to specify my plans for each day of the week on Sunday, and other times I will make it up as I go, based on ingredients that I already have on hand. This style of menu planning has given me greater flexibility, while still saving me money and providing a great framework for our family. It’s also be a great, no-stress way to incorporate the bounty of fresh produce from our summer CSA.
Here is what’s on tap for our September monthly meal plan theme:
Sunday – BBQ night = Anything we can put on the grill, from burgers and dogs to grilled mushrooms to steak! Then I just mix up a BBQ side dish or two, and we’re set.
Monday – Pasta night – This can range from pasta and red sauce to tuna noodle casserole to lasagna… if it’s got pasta in it, it’s good!
Tuesday – Israeli night – I’m thinking falafel with homemade hummus, shakshuka, bourekas, malawach… Mmmmmm.
Wednesday - Stir-Fry night – We pick up our CSA on Wednesday afternoons, so this has proven to be a great day to make a stir-fry with all those fresh veggies. I usually throw in some tofu, or a scrambled egg for veggie “fried” rice.
Thursday – Pizza night – We’ve been having pizza for dinner on Thursday nights for so long that my kids not only count on it – they demand it. I once tried to skip the pizza and they about mutinied. Thanks to our CSA, we have a lot of great zucchini, squash, onions and tomatoes to toss onto our Thursday pizza, too. I just have to remember to keep our supply of grated mozzarella (we get it from Costco) plentiful.
Shabbat – It varies. Try as I might, I haven’t found it especially helpful to plan for Shabbat meals a month in advance. We don’t know if we’ll be invited out, if we’ll invite guests over, if I’ll be burned out and want a quiet Shabbat at home… Too many variables. Or maybe I’m just not that organized yet?!
If you menu plan and talk about it on your blog, please feel free to link up below. I love getting more inspiration – and I know my readers do, too!