Winging it seems to be a commonly used menu planning strategy. I, myself, have been doing it a lot more than I used to. In the past, I “winged it” about once a year and it didn’t turn out well.
Lately, though, I’ve been doing it a lot. I have several good reasons for this change in strategy:
- Frequently I don’t have time to make a menu.
- We’re pretty much eating the same things all the time.
- Cooking is VERY simple because of David’s IBS.
- I’m getting better at creating recipes with what I have on hand.
But . . . even though it’s working okay, I don’t like it. Here’s why:
- I usually don’t have everything I need for any recipe so I have to get creative to make it work. I’m not opposed to creativity, but when I’m trying to figure out what to make for dinner NOW, I really don’t have the time, energy or desire to be creative.
- Being creative takes extra time that I don’t have. If I’m short an ingredient, I search the internet to find a substitute or figure out how to make the missing item from scratch. That takes time and I usually don’t have it.
- Sometimes I can’t do as much as I want to because I have to spend extra time making things from scratch that I should have had in my pantry.
- I have extra folks for dinner a lot, and when I wing it, I don’t always have something suitable to make for guests.
- When I go grocery shopping without a detailed list and menu, I usually either overspend or don’t get enough.
- When I sit down at night to plan tomorrow’s day, I don’t want to have to figure out what to make for dinner – I want to choose an appropriate meal from a pre-made list.
- When I wing it, I end up cooking the same things over and over and over again instead of trying new things.
- I like looking for new recipes to try, and it’s more fun if you have the ingredients on hand instead of trying to make them work with what you have.
- I hate making mid-week trips to the grocery store. Those are budget busters for me because I can’t stick to my budget and I buy extra goodies while I’m in there.
- When I don’t have a menu plan, we end up eating leftovers more or pulling something together at the last minute.
So while I admire all of you who can wing it and make it work, I’m not one of you. I need my menu plan, and by golly, I’m going to find the time to start doing it again. Winging it is NOT for me!
Do you make a detailed menu each week or do you wing it?