Are you looking for a way to provide economical, home-cooked meals for your family? Are you tired of the constant nagging question in the back of your mind, "What's for dinner tonight?" I've got a radical idea to pass along to you: QUIT PLANNING!
Well, at least, quit planning so frequently.
Mary at Evlogia has totally inspired me to make my meal planning and preparation easier by having one meal plan for a whole season instead of a new meal plan each week. (She also has an amazing series of Household Notebooks for each season of the Church year.)
Mary is Eastern Orthodox, so her meal plans accommodate her family's needs to maintain the fasting schedule of the Orthodox church. At first I was skeptical about the lack of variety week-to-week, but then I reminded myself that we tend to eat pizza EVERY Friday night; Indian food on Saturday night, and nachos on Sunday night and we don't get tired of it! Mary also mentioned one time that most people tend to stick to a handful (or two handfuls) of the same recipes anyway. And really, Mary's idea might encourage me to have more variety on an annual basis.
I've started with our Summer Menu, and will continue to add seasonal menus during the year (as long as it is still working for us!). Future Menu plans will probably include: Fall, Advent (fast), Christmas (feast), Winter, Lent (fast), Easter (feast), and Spring.
Here is my planned Summer Menu (click on the table for a larger view)
I've posted this on my fridge - so everyone knows what is for dinner (and breakfast and lunch) and in my Home Binder. Right behind it, I have the grocery list (how easy - I don't have to make a new grocery list every week...just look over the one I've already got prepared). I've typed up the recipes and filed those, too. No more flipping through cookbooks trying to find recipes in the middle of preparing dinner!
And, Mary, thank you for sharing your meal plan...and inspiring me to keep it simple!
I'll start posting the recipes later this week.