I hate meal planning. Hate it, I say.
Oh and I try. Do I ever try. I've purchased magazines just because it has a weekly meal plan ad on the cover. I've downloaded meal plans other moms have created. I've joined meal planning websites galore. I've confessed to friends my meal planning inadequacies just to hint for their help. I've sat frozen for hours glaring at an empty spread sheet while trying to gather my wits and get started on my own. I've gathered the family up and asked for their suggestions in hopes of making it easier. You name it. I've tried it. But the bottom line is: I'm a meal plan flop.
This morning I was sweating over yet another meal planning attempt and just so frustrated.
Why is this so dang hard?!
I was on the verge of hollering out loud!
The easy answer: Duh, because we can't afford a live-in chef! But the other answer is: I make it that way. In my constant pursuit of perfect I do have a tendency to over complicate things. And totally wig myself out. I'm here trying to be fancy shamancy meal planner mom. When the reality is -frozen waffles and ready made pizza are more my
So right then and there I made the choice to stop chasing perfect. No more meal planning wig outs for me! I flipped that
stupid super organized grid over and free-styled on the back! I am just not a grid kinda girl. I needed to simplify things even more. And I need my list to do double duty as a grocery guide too! I can just copy on my Cookie Monster shopping list the foods in bold and wah-lah I know what to buy! My job is to keep the choices stocked. Theirs is to help themselves for all non-dinner meals. This is what I came up with:
they can choose any of the choices listed provided we haven't run out AND they must be able to help themselves
chocolate milk - cereal - fruit - toast
I am making a promise to myself to teach the kiddos how to prep and make these meals themselves this year, which will be especially handy on sandwich day seeing that he hates peanut butter and she bologna; we'll choose whichever option fits the mood of the day; and fruit or veggies with ranch are always on hand for a side
mini pizzas - oodles of noodles - chicken nuggets - mac n' cheese - grilled cheese - frozen waffles - sandwiches - nachos with salsa
I don't mind the kids grazing during breaks as long as they help themselves and clean up after themselves. Also, I wish I were more of a grazer than a wai-ter only to pig out-er.
fruit - applesauce - granola bars - poptarts - goldfish - pretzels - nuts - yogurt
I'm including the days of the week but still keeping it simple enough to not overwhelm me. Also...we always have applesauce, salad and bread & butter with our meals for the picky eaters. I'm planning on getting this into a more detailed monthly schedule but right now it includes meals I can make with little to no brain power. Days with more than one option means I give myself the liberty to pick one based on mood. I actually do that often by even swapping out days of the week.
- Monday - Little Ceasar's (cause it would be a sin to skip $3.99 night! :)
- Tuesday - Mexican Casserole - Fried Rice - Fish Stix Tacos
- Wednesday -Something crockpot (cause it's a full day with homeschooling in the am and outpatient therapies in the pm)
- Thursday - Spaghetti & Meatballs - Porkchops & Greenbean Casserole
- Friday - Chicken & Broccoli Casserole - Soup & Sandwiches - Quesidillas
- Saturday - Breakfast for dinner (or convince the hubs that we all deserve an out-for-dinner treat!)
- Sunday - Clean out out the Leftovers Day - Subway
My style may totally not work for you. And that...to me...is the point. It's okay to cheat.
Cheat = doing what works for you whether it involves spreadsheets or not (just so long as it cuts down on the wigouts!)