I think menu planning is a great way to go and have done menu planning for most of my married life. This year I got very into trying new things all the time as we have been studying about the 50 states for our homeschooling (taking one state a week) and I was trying to eat recipes that were special for that state. Cooking had started to get a little overwhelming and Ken and the kids were a little tired of constantly having new foods. Something needed to change.
After some discussion we decided to try out a plan that we have thought about off and on. That is to make up a menu (I decided on a 6 week one) that we could basically just rotate over and over. The idea is that I will never have to make a menu again. (So this might be my last time to participate in Menu plan Monday.) I included foods that have been old favorites in our household. I did not put what vegetables we would be eating on there as that will be according to what is seasonally available. Another things that I did was to leave Thursday blank. That is our family night and I decided it would also be a good night to have our special state food (And after we are done studying states we are planning on going to countries and then beyond that it can just be a night for trying new things.).
You might notice that only Sunday has dinner/lunch listed, on the other days we generally eat leftovers or if we don't have any I make soup or something with beans (which Ken doesn't like) for the kids and I. Only Saturday has breakfasts listed. We eat breakfast every day but on most days I need something that I can get on the table in about 20 minutes or less so we eat things like eggs, toast, yogurt, pancakes, french toast, muffins (baked the day before) and occasionally cereal. On Saturdays I have more time to cook breakfast so we have some more time consuming breakfasts listed.
To see the menu with a little larger print (in case you don't have eagle eyes!!) just click on it.
I am also trying to incorporate making double meals and freezing them. On the menu I will have in parentheses "Make extra to freeze" or F. (freeze) E. (extra) and "From Freezer" or f.f. That way about once a week I can just pull something out of the freezer instead of needing to do any cooking. I have used this method off and on and I really like it and am glad I am finally incorporating it on a more regular basis.
For Thursday this week since we are studying about Montana was are planning on having: