As you may have realized, I love meal planning and could talk about it for hours!
At least I used to enjoy it. I did and then I didn’t, and now I do again.
I hit meal planning burn out before the summer, so I gave it up…temporarily.
This summer season was so busy that any serious meal planning went out the window, but I was ok with that.
I know, I know! The busiest season are the times we need meal plans the most, but I just couldn’t do it. We still ate meals, but it was so simple and sometimes really random and sometimes it was take-out…I know, ewwww, but hey, I didn’t have to cook! Meals were random because I didn’t plan and because I didn’t create a proper shopping list to go with a plan.
It has always been a bit of a process for me, hauling out all my cookbooks and recipes and trying to come up with something creative and new for every meal. I just go tired of trying to come up with ideas and wished we could take a break from eating for a while.
Taking a break from meal planning ended up being a great thing because it reminded me of why I do love it so much and why it is so important to keeping my family fed.
Now that we are back in to Fall routine, it is vital that I continue to meal plan, but this time around I decided to try something different and to simplify by just planning for dinners.
Breakfasts and lunch items are pretty much always on the shopping list, so I don’t have to plan for those as much. Plus, my bigger kids are at the age where they take turns making breakfast and lunch.
This weekend I decided to meal plan a little differently and I am glad I did!
I grabbed my stop watch, my family favourites list and a blank meal planning calendar.
I started by jotting down these ideas:
· Wednesday-Slow Cooker
· Thursday- Soup or Meal Salad (meal salads are usually more for the summer)
· Friday-Fancy Feast
· Sunday-Leftovers/Soup/Slow Cooker
Once I had the “theme” for each day of the week I started the stop watch and wrote down 4 meal ideas for each “theme”.
For example for Meatless Monday I wrote:
· Black Bean Burgers
· Chickpea and Vegetable Curry
· Sweet and Sour Beans
· Walnut/Lentil Loaf
And then I moved on to the next day/meal theme and wrote down 4 more ideas. And so on, working my way through each day of the week.
It was such a quick process and I was able to plan 28 dinner meals in under 15 minutes…probably closer to 10 because of all the interruptions I had!
That was a record for me and got me excited about meal planning again! Yay!
Sometimes all we need is to simplify and a little inspiration, so I thought I would post my October dinner meal plan (click here for printable meal plan) to give you some dinner ideas for the month.
Let me know if this helps and if it does I will continue to post my meal plans :)