I’ve been making weekly menu plans for the last 29 years (I didn’t bother until we had kids and I started staying home full-time – you know, actually cooking instead of eating out all the time). In all those years, I never planned for anything except dinner and dessert.
Does that mean we didn’t eat breakfast and lunch? Nope. We ate them. But instead of planning exactly what we were going to eat for each of those meals, we used these strategies instead:
1. Keep the pantry/refrigerator stocked with breakfast foods. I currently buy cereal, oatmeal, eggs and sometimes frozen waffles. We create breakfast from those items based on what we’re in the mood for and/or what we have time for.
2. Keep the pantry/refrigerator stocked with a few lunch basics like bread, peanut butter, jelly, honey, tuna, salmon, salad, boiled eggs, fruits, carrots, sometimes convenience food. My husband makes his own lunch so most of the lunch basics are for him. I’m home so I have more options.
3. Since I’m home for lunch, I usually have leftovers. When I was working full-time, I liked to take leftovers to work. I had access to a microwave and the leftovers made a nice, easy lunch. Now that I’m home, I usually have leftovers, too.
So even though I don’t plan specific meals for breakfast and lunch, I do make sure food is available for those meals. Certainly there are situations where planning would be important – if you have a large family, for example. But for us, planning dinner only works great.
What does your menu plan include?
Other menu planning articles are available here.