OK. I used to be on the band wagon for menu planning, then life got too hectic! Children’s lives became so crazy…. I became a substitute teacher for our local seminary and have the potential to be gone on any given day of the week when needed. Can you say Dominoes on Speed Dial! Yah, not a good thing for tight budgets!! Speaking of budgets, ours had became so tight that this past year, we have only shopped for mere basics! A family of 9 on $100 a week–which includes 9 gallons of milk each week!!
Yah, It has been rough! I knew there had to be a better way to make it all work!
Then, one day, I decided that I had had enough! I needed something that was going to help us keep the chaos out of dinner time, and help us with the grocery budget. I was tired of buying something only to come home to find out I already had that, or that I forgot what I needed. I was tired of buying the basics, only to come home and still really having nothing to prepare for meals! Getting called in to substitute early of the morning and getting home late with no ideas of what to do for dinner! I would look at meal planning on the internet and what everyone did, and it just sent me for a loop! For some reason it wasn’t clicking for me! I wanted to be able to use my own recipes, since I have quite a collection of them, and I know what works for my family. So, having said that, I will NOT be posting all my recipes! I might have a few on this site you’re welcome to brouse, but use what you have and what your family loves! Print off those Pinterest recipes and start filing them with your recipes where you can see them!
After much praying for divine assistance, I finally had a thought come to me on how to do this! I can not take credit for this idea. I know that it was a direct answer to my prayer from a loving Heavenly Father who cared enough to help me with my situation!
The idea was so simple! (That’s why I know it was NOT my own idea) In the past I have had a different category for each day of the week — the idea came from “The Food Nanny.” In the past it did work well…. but for some reason I had just fallen off the menu planning bandwagon!
- Monday — Comfort foods
- Tuesdays — Italian
- Wednesdays — Soups/Sandwiches (This is Young Men/Young Women’s night for our church and since I serve in the Young Women’s and am gone for the evening, I need something quick and easy!)
- Fridays–Kids Favorite/Southern/Pizza
- Saturdays — Leftover
- Sundays — Traditional
Now this is where the divine help came! On Sundays, we have our Family Counsel meeting. We go over our schedules. We then know which nights are more crazy then the others. I can then go over the menus that I have and just pull the ones out that we want to use for the week. I pull out breakfasts, dinners, AND desserts, if desired, for each day of the week! I slip the recipes into my accordion file folder. I have a slot labeled for each day of the week. Take all the ones I want to use for Monday, and put them in the folder, etc! When I am done using the recipes for the day, then I slip them back into my master recipe folders that I have! I have lots of folders and the recipes I have just get put into those folders (These are just a few):
- pies, etc. You get the picture!
Tuesdays are my days for bills and shopping, since paydays are on Monday. I can pull out my recipes for the week, shop in my own pantry or freezer and see what I have. List what I still need and then use that for my shopping list! I have a pretty good estimate of what things cost, so then I can add up to see what will fit into my budget!
It couldn’t be more simple! I also try to utilize my kids and have them help! They can know what we’re having for dinner and even assign a different child as dinner helper! If they don’t like the dessert idea, they can substitute it as long as we have the ingredients on hand!
Hopefully this might give some help to those who might still be struggling with menu planning!