How to Create a Weekly Meal Plan

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Welcome to the Intentional Woman Lifestyle!  My first post is going to be about something that I hear most women (moms in particular) try to figure out on about on a weekly basis - "What on Earth am I serving for dinner?"

I'm going to share a weekly meal planning system that works well in my house and give you some tips for how to do this in your own home.

So, anyone who knows me well knows that I have a massive chalkboard in my kitchen with the menu for the week written on it.  The chalkboard came out of a few frustrating years in there where there was a lot of tension with my kids about 1) what was going to be for for dinner ("we don't want that!") and 2) wanting dessert (lots of begging and pleading). 

As a way to simplify my own life and set their expectations, I decided to do a couple of things that have (so far) worked well.  

2 MAIN IDEAS:

  1. Each night is a set "theme." 
  2. I set 2 "dessert nights" every week.  (Knowing this, they don't beg on the other days)

Knowing what they are having - and when they are having it - has significantly reduced the guesswork for me and the element of surprise for them.  (Don't get me wrong - they still complain when I make something that they don't like - but it's better). 

Here is what things look like in our house.  Over time, I imagine that ours will change, but this is ours for now:

 

MY WEEKLY MENU:

  • Monday:  Soup
  • Tuesday:  Pasta
  • Wednesday:  Vegetarian + Dessert
  • Thursday:  Chicken or Fish
  • Friday:  Leftovers (or take-out)
  • Saturday:  Pizza + Dessert  (My husband & I usually go out for dinner for a date night)
  • Sunday:   1-Pot Night (stew / soup / roast, etc.)

There are so many variations on this that you could do.  Other ideas:

  • Grilling night
  • Kids make dinner night
  • Noodle night
  • Crock pot night
  • Freezer meal night 
  • Meat night 
  • Ethnic food night
  • And so on... 

The key is finding something that works for your family.  For example, if you work full time and don't have a lot of time to cook, you might rely more heavily on freezer or slow-cooker meals.  If you have Fridays off from work, that might be the day that you cook something that takes a bit more time.  You get the idea.  Adapt it to your own family's routine & schedule.

The purpose is to simplify things and create a nicer routine for you and your family (because we all know that we have a million other things to do).  Each Saturday, I plan the meals for the week ahead according to the theme nights and make a grocery list.  I then (ideally) only make one trip to the grocery store or ordering groceries online - but more on that later.

If you have any thoughts or questions - drop me a line in the commends below.  I'd also love to hear - what works well for you?

Love,

Maeve