Menu Planning

I absolutely love organizing! Anything and everything. Lists give me a little thrill. Calendars make me smile. You get the idea… With everything that we’ve got going on, I decided to try menu planning about a month ago. And, like my lists and my calendars, I {heart} it.

Michelle over at Make 5 Dinners in 1 Hour is a genius! I know many use freezer cooking, or have a prep day, or some other variant, but Michelle really has made it easy.  This method seems to suit me best.   

Each week you are emailed a list of five dinners, complete with ingredients, cooking instructions, and a shopping list. You spend one hour {she swears you’ll spend just about an hour in the kitchen, and even shows you what your plan of attack should be} in the kitchen and at the end you’ve got five dinners prepped for the coming week! 

She offers a one week trial {an email with a week’s worth of meals from the current month}, which is what I got today. I then took the dinners and looked at my monthly calendar to see what we had going on this week {do I need to do a crockpot meal on a day when we have soccer, that type of thing}. I then placed these meals on my “master calendar”, went through the shopping list, added the items I’d need to my “master list” {where I’ve got stuff like milk, cereal, sponges, etc., listed}, and I’m done!

The dinners looks appetizing, kid-friendly, and reasonably healthy {to me that means they include a good balance of food groups-I’m not a low-carb, low-fat, low-anything nut}. Could I have compiled this myself? Sure. Do I want to? No! She offers this gem for only $5 per month.

I’ve got yet to get to the store and do my hour, and I’ll update you guys when I have. Bottom line is: my menu plan is done for the week! And what are we having for dinner?

  • Monday – Ordering in {didn’t make it to the store today}
  • Tuesday – Turkey Bacon Swiss Croissants
  • Wednesday {something I found that I want to try} – Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini
  • Thursday – Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas
  • Friday – Slow Cooked Asian Pork Chops with Glazed Carrots & Peas
  • Saturday – Mini Meatloaves
  • Sunday – Pizza and other goodies

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are all Michelle’s creations {I opted to not use one of them}.  Her blog is full of useful info, even if you don’t use the service.  For instance, we tend to struggle with lunches around here, unless there happens to be leftovers handy {my husband takes them to work for lunch, though, so many times there’s not}.  She has two great posts {here and here} about how she handles lunches.  Brilliant!

Do you have a favorite meal planning resource?