Sometimes I really get sick of planning meals. I’ve been doing a meal plan pretty much every week for the last 27 years. I figure that’s about 1,404 meal plans so far. I kind of miss the early days of our marriage when we ate out all the time or just cooked frozen pizza. I don’t even remember going to the grocery store then although I’m sure I did!
The other day I was sitting at my desk trying to plan my meals for the week and I just couldn’t do it. I was tired. I was tired of cooking. I was tired of grocery shopping. And I was tired of trying to find new recipes (I try three or four new ones every week.) No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t pull together a menu.
I’d like to say that this was a rare occurrence but it happens more often than you might think. But regardless of whether I feel like making a menu plan, I have to do it. So when I get stuck like I was the other day, here are some ways I get through it:
1. Use the categories method. I list five different categories of food and then just plug in meals to fit the categories. Here’s an example:
- Beef or Chicken
Having the categories gives me direction, and sometimes that’s all it takes.
2. Copy an old menu. I have a stack of my old menu plans, so if I’m desperate, I can just pull one of those out and repeat it.
3. Copy someone else’s menu. There are tons of menu plans available at no cost on the internet. Take a look at those and see if any of them help you plan your menu. Here are a few places to look:
4. Make it an easy week. Instead of trying to come up with your customary awesome menu, just choose family favorites that are easy and sound good. Here’s what mine might look like:
- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, French Fries, Green Beans
- Tacos, Cheese Dip
- Frozen Pizza or homemade
- Baked Potato Soup, Cinnamon Bread
- Teriyaki Chicken, Tortellini w/parmesan, steamed vegetables, frozen garlic bread
5. Wait until later. Sometimes when I’m trying to plan my menu I just can’t do it. But if I put it away and come back a little later, I can bang it out in record time.
So if you’re struggling to make your menu for the week, maybe one of these ideas will help you get through it. They work for me!
How and when do you make your menu plan?