My in-laws came for a visit the first week in December. They have very different dietary preferences than we do (let’s just say they like meat. Red meat.).
So rather than make our normal monthly menu plan, we decided to wait until they arrived and then make a menu with them for the week of their visit. No sense in forcing them to eat milchigs for an entire week.
That was the first week. I told myself that when they left, we would plan out the rest of our month. But we didn’t. Life was hectic, kids were sick, I was overwhelmed. We had a lot of food in our fridge and I figured I could wing it.
Why do I insist on learning the hard way? Over and over and over again?
After four days of rather terse family dynamics around the dinner hour — DH: “What’s for dinner, hon?” Me: “What do you mean, what’s for dinner? Why do I always have to be in charge of EVERYTHING? Sheesh!” (Defensive much, Mara?!) — I finally admitted to my husband that our lack of a menu plan was gumming up the works.
So we agreed to sit down to make one, but we got distracted. He had a deadline for work; I had a post to write; the baby woke up for the millionth time wanting to nurse. Plus, we were going away for a few days, so we figured we could make it through.
More tense evenings. More full-price runs to Walmart to pick up pizza crusts and sauce — since without a menu plan, I certainly didn’t have those things in the fridge and ready to go at 5:30 p.m., when I finally decided that that’s what we should eat for dinner.
Somehow, miraculously, we haven’t gone over budget yet. Although we do still have an entire week and guests coming for Shabbat ahead of us. I’ve got $70 left in my food debit card account. I can probably make it. Financially. My emotional well-being? That’s another question entirely.
Does anyone else have this kind of maddeningly slow learning curve?
Well, take it from me: You really can avoid these problems by making a menu plan.
Not sure how to start? Check out these two posts:
- How to Save Money (& Your Sanity) with Menu Planning
- How to Save Money with Menu Planning, Part 2: Monthly Planning
When you’re done reading, be sure to hop over to Organizing Junkie for her Menu Plan Monday linkup. Plenty of inspiration there, too!