In March of 2008, we went to visit Jim and Jill in South Carolina. While there, Jill had a daily menu plan on the refrigerator. I asked her about it and she told me that she did daily menu planning. She talked about how easy it made things and how nice it was not to have to think about what she’s making for dinner. She mentioned that it really cut down on the nightly stress of the exact same conversation that Andy and I had every night. The conversation always went something like this:
- Me: What do you want for dinner?
- Andy: I don’t know. What do you want?
- Me: I don’t know. Any suggestions?
- Andy: How about chicken/steak/pork?
- Me: Not thawed out.
- Andy: Whatever.
- Me: Fine. I’ll come up with something.
So, on the way home to Columbia, I mentioned it to Andy. He said, “That sounds like a good idea and we should give it a try!” As we talked a bit more about it, we realized that menu planning would allow us to finally try all those recipes that we saw in my multitude of cookbooks, but never seemed to have the ingredients for. Almost two years later, I’m still menu planning.
I can’t even begin to tell you how absolutely fantastic and stress free our nights are now. I try to plan two weeks at a time, but it isn’t always possible. There are also weeks when I just can’t seem to find the time to plan our menus. Those weeks where there is no menu plan, I feel almost lost at times. This makes life just so much easier. No more conversations or frustration over what we are having for dinner. It makes it so we can have a varied menu and so the kids get to try lots of different types of foods. If we want to try a new recipe, we add it to the plan, I buy the ingredients on my weekly trip to the store, and off we go! Over. Done. Easy. If we really like a new recipe, it goes into the “rotation.” Also, we’ve saved a ton of money this way. My grocery lists are specific to what we need for the week instead of a bunch of varying things that we *might* need for the week.
Why do I go on about this? Because it also allows me the time to do what I did today.
Both Lasagna (for tonight) and Spaghetti (Tuesday, January 25) are on the menu plan for the next two weeks. Today, I spent part of the afternoon making two Lasagnas and a batch of Spaghetti Sauce. We will have one of the Lasagnas for tonight’s dinner and I’ll freeze the other for another time. I’ll also split the Spaghetti Sauce in half and freeze one half for later. As Laura is fond of saying, “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.”