{TS.A.H.M} Meal Planning + Menus

I was never an organized meal planner. To be honest, I didn't care. I also thought that from what I knew, it was a LOT of work! When you're a S.A.H.M you are always looking for things to minimize your workload because you're always running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to please your kids and make them happy. Most of the time you just can't, especially when it comes to supper time. My kids aren't on the higher end of the picker eater scale but I still have moments where I want to pull my hair out because they ask the usual question: "What's for dinner?" And I dread telling them roast!

Our oldest isn't so bad and from an early age, she hasn't really been picky about anything. Our youngest of the other hand, she's never liked Eggs, Carrots, Meat, Chicken, Salad...etc. I feel like the list gets bigger and bigger the older she gets!

I've always been the type to make whatever I wanted and if the kids didn't like it, starve. They know, they sometimes fight it but it's less of a fight than making 50 different meals for them only to still have it go to waste. Plus, it's exhausting! It's been exhausting!

I started reading into meal planning when our youngest was 2-years old. I found that it wasn't as hard as it seemed and we save money on groceries because we're not buying the extras ALL the time and if we do buy those extras, it's because we want too. We find that making a menu every week had cut down on vegetables going bad because we're actually eating them as opposed to leaving them in the fridge not knowing what to do with them! If it's on the menu, it's being made. Why buy carrots if none of the meals on the menu have carrots in them?

I find many people spend way too much on groceries they don't even need and half of the food goes bad. We were a little tired spending almost $300 on our groceries and have half of it go bad before we thought about what to make with it.

Now, we budget for between $100-$150/week on groceries and if we spend more, it's because we decided to get extra stuff because we're actually eating it. I don't buy any fridge stuff that will go bad within a week if it's not on the menu.

Suppers are usually the hardest to plan. Every meal-planning week ends on Wednesday's. I do a menu starting every Thursday because I know our new grocery flyer comes out that day.

Normally, I get the kids to help me make the menu because at least if they have their say, they like what's on the menu and I know they'll eat it. Every once-in-awhile I have to add a meal or sides of my choice because they aren't always the best at the "healthy" side of things. They would honestly eat Tacos and Pizza every night of the week if we let them.

That's another thing, I usually have one item that we do every week or every two weeks (i.e. Pizza night or Tacos). We either order it or make it handmade and we always try to change the ingredients so that we aren't having the same boring toppings every week.

I have found that we have less fighting about what is being made for the supper, the kids cheer more often when they ask: "What's for dinner?", and of course, supper is usually made every night without me having to slave over the stove not really knowing what I'm going to put together again.

If P decides he doesn't feel like having something that is on the menu for the night, we pick something else on the menu and change it around. Easy-peasy and we already have the ingredients for it because we shopped for the week!

We find it more convenient and it makes everyone a lot happier at supper time. Which makes for a happier mom too! ;)



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