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Posts Tagged ‘weekly’

Welcome to my second post in a short series about different meal planning systems that might inspire you to actually develop a system that works for you.  You can read about the Theme System here.  Today, I am introducing the Rotating Weeks method.

This one takes less thought than the theme system, but also has less flexibility.  This system works beautifully for people who have fairly predictable schedules from one week to the next.  The idea behind this system is to come up with six weeks of meals all at once (or start with four if that seems less overwhelming), and then just rotate through them.  When you reach the end of your six weeks – just start over at the beginning!

A meal at the court of Emperor Ferdinand I,

Image via Wikipedia

Here is what you do:

  • Write/type out six separate lists, Sunday – Saturday, and give some thought to your schedule.  Evening activities, church, Bible studies, etc. need to be considered.
  • Once you have your empty lists ready, and your schedule in mind – start filling in the blanks!
  • Don’t feel pressured to make every meal differentwho does that?!  If you have pizza every Friday night, then fill in all your Fridays.  Always make a roast on Sundays?  Fill it in.  Don’t forget to include eating out if that is a regular part of your week.
  • If you are having trouble coming up with enough variety you have two options.  Eat the same thing often :), or start searching for new recipes!
  • When you have all of your main dishes figured out, go back and add sides.  This will make creating your grocery list a breeze, and require even less thought from you in the future!

There are several reasons I love this system.  First, once you put the work in to create the lists – you don’t have to do it every week!!  You can also be intentional about planning date nights, family fun nights, nights when your kids cook, etc.  If it is on the rotation, you’ll plan for it.

Another bonus if you use this system is freezer cooking.  If you are making lasagna for tonight’s meal, it is extremely easy to make two at the same time and put one in the freezer.  You know you’ll be eating it again fairly soon because it is on the rotation!  No more freezer meals getting lost and never eaten with this system.

Stockpiling is also simplified if you know what you are making for the next six, twelve, eighteen weeks.  If an item is on sale for the rock-bottom price, you can buy with confidence knowing how much to buy and that you are sure to actually use it!

When you find your groove with this system, I strongly encourage you to create two different rotations – one for Fall/Winter and one for Spring/Summer.  If you do this, you will be sure to include the seasonal items we all crave and you’ll be ready to pull out the other plan when the seasons change.

At the beginning of your week, check your meal plan and make any minor adjustments (company coming so make a swap with another night’s meal, somebody wants their favorite meal on their birthday).  Create your shopping list for things you don’t have in the pantry or freezer, add breakfast and lunch items and you are off!

Easy-peasy!

Next up – the Three Meals A Day System.

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Pumpkin Spice Granola

I have a set amount of money to spend every month on groceries.  Monthly budgeting works best for me since I buy in bulk quite often.  When I buy chickens from my farmer, I don’t just buy one.  I order large quantities of dry goods from Country Life Natural Foods.  You get the idea.  So, when I have a month with five Mondays (my usual shopping day), that last week is usually “eat what we have in the house even if it seems a little weird” week.  Think I should come up with an acronym for that?  Probably not.

Anyway, welcome to that week :).

BREAKFASTS:

Yogurt or oatmeal, fruit (we have a lot of frozen raspberries, so that is probably what we will be eating all week) x 2

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola or oatmeal, fruit x 2

Pumpkin pancakes, Maple Icing

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, fruit

Cinnamon Raisin biscuits, Maple Icing (instead of icing with tons o’ sugar)

LUNCHES:

Apple slices with peanut butter, raw milk cheddar cheese, fresh veggies

Hot dogs, fresh veggies

Eggs (scrambled or over easy), fresh veggies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins, baked beans, steamed green beans

PB & J made on this bread (really looking forward to trying this!!), fresh veggies

Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, raw milk cheddar cheese, steamed broccoli

Sloppy Joes, oven roasted potatoes, green salad, fruit (We’ll be having company – can you tell?)

DINNERS:

Lentil and Rice Taco Bowls, tomatoes, avocados, black olives, raw milk cheddar cheese, fruit smoothies

Pad Thai with tons-o-veggies and eggs, fruit

Spaghetti with marinara sauce, green smoothies

Roasted Chicken, gravy, mashed sweet and white potatoes, steamed peas

Tuna and Rice Casserole (from the freezer – yay me!), fruit

Pizza and Movie Night!!

Leftovers and Whatevers

What are you planning on eating this week?  Trying any new recipes?  Need some more inspiration?  Head over to Menu Plan Monday and browse!

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