Sunday, September 12, 2010

MPM 9/13

As I sit down to hammer out my menu for the week, I wonder how other people handle their menus.  How do you figure out what you are going to eat?  Does the family have input in the menu?  Does the menu get determined during the weekly family meeting?  Do you cycle through the family's 18 favorite meals and then...start over?  How do you post the menu for the family to see?  What do you do??!

Since I was wondering what all of you do, I thought maybe you wonder how my menu comes to be.  Let me start by saying I am very fortunate that my family will eat anything and be excited and happy about it.  Ah, I ♥ them!  I could just about deep fry a "road apple" and they'd eat it...and like it!  (Funny, that is actually an old family story, and yes, it did happen ~ and LONG before my time!!)  That being said, I don't normally involve them in coming up with what to eat for the week.  If someone requests something or suggests something, I try to incorporate it into the plan for the week.  If I can't get it in this week, I definitely try to get it into next week's menu for sure.  Sometimes it just doesn't work, but I'll try my best to accomodate.

Where do I get my recipes?  Some of them are from family, but mostly I find my recipes from blogs like yours.  I also have a love affair with Taste of Home since their recipes are submitted by real people in real kitchens.  We try at least one new dish each week, sometimes it can be as many as three or four new recipes in a single week.  One thing is for certain -it's never boring!  And there aren't a lot of repeats.  How many ways can we have chicken?  I don't know, but I'm willing to try to find out!  A common "problem" I experience is having too many ideas for a seven day week, so to counter that, I have a list on my desk (oh how I love Post-Its!) that I jot down dishes that I want to do soon.  It keeps those ideas front and center in my mind when I sit down to determine meals for the week.   

Once I have the meal planned out, there is the grocery shopping that has to be done.  I explained here how I handle that phase of menu planning.  That brings us to posting the menu for the family.  I have a magnetic weekly planner that I write down what we'll be eating each day (dinners only).  Each page is three weeks worth of plans.  Once the page is finished, I tear it off and I keep it on my desk, paper clipped to the other menus.  That allows me to look back through them for inspiration.  What haven't we had in a long time?  What were "keepers" that we loved but haven't had again?  I started menu planning October 19, 2008 and I can see all the meals we've had since then.  It's all at my fingertips, and it's what has worked for me.

Now that I've explained that, what are we eating this week?  We are going easy.  Sometimes simple food is the way to go.  Actually, it's how I roll when David is TDY!

Monday - Sub sandwich (Mondays are baseball nights, so I pick up a sub from Winco and call it done)
Tuesday - Chicken...not sure how I'll prep it, but it's thawed and needs to be used
Wednesday - Mac & Cheese with tuna and peas
Thursday - Burritos
Friday - French Toast (but it could turn into eating out since we'll be picking David up about dinner time)
Saturday - Pasta
Sunday - Ground Beef Gyros

There you have it.  How do you plan your meal?  Leave me a comment and share your strategies.  If you want more meal ideas, check out  You'll be glad you did!

1 comment:

  1. Chrissie6:39 AM

    Thanks for sharing. I love to spend a Sunday afternoon searching blogs for recipe ideas. I have only been planning (off and on) for a about a year. I also want to some how keep track of menu plans from past weeks but haven't found a system yet that works for me. I also plan breakfast and lunches too. I recently just started a simple word doc that has "stand-by ideas "recipes I'd like to try" so I don't have to search so hard for ideas. I usually don't get too much input from the family and usually no one requests anything except occasionally.