Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"Hiatus? What Hiatus?" and a Few Words About Meal Planning

It's been a strange couple of years here in the Fridays household, so my original plan to cook a new recipe from my collection of cookbooks each week was a bit of a fail.

However, I just got two new books that I'm dying to read through, flag, and set up a trial schedule so I'll get back on track and continue to ensure that my writing skills haven't completely rusted.

In addition to the need to pull things back on track, I'd like to talk about meal planning.

Not only does planning your week's (or two weeks'!) worth of meals help to ensure you're not wasting food, but it also helps you write your grocery list, eat more healthfully, and use all your resources.

Our general week's meal plan is by category, which allows a bit more flexibility in each week's menu while still allowing us to lead our lives.

Monday is Slow Cooker Night - the munchkin started Girl Scouts in November, and her meetings are after school on Mondays. If dinner's already in the slow cooker, we can eat as soon as we walk in the door from meeting pickup, rather than taking an extra 30-odd minutes to prep & cook something. This is especially helpful in getting the munchkin to bed on time, and has helped improve her ability to focus in class the next day.

Tuesday is Taco Tuesday - by request, the munchkin asked that every Tuesday be declared "Taco Tuesday." So, that's what we do. Usually it's packaged seasoning mix and a box of taco shells, but even within the Taco Tuesday theme, there are many delicious variations. (We might do steak fajitas, for example, for Valentine's Day 2017. Steak on Valentine's Day is always a welcome change of pace!)

We usually plan one night per week as "Leftover Night." This week, it's Wednesday, but I might bump it to Thursday next week because there's a new recipe I'd like to try on Wednesday.

Starting this month, we're going to add Fish Friday, because I'm not always in the mood to eat meat or grilled cheese. 

Oddly enough, this adds enough flexibility to our menu plan that we can be creative and still make sure we're using our resources wisely, which is incredibly important when you're trying to do more with less!

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