Even though we’re already a few days into the new year it’s not too late to create your own year long menu plan, and really you can start this at anytime that makes sense for your family.
1. Identify the family favorite recipes and menus you use often.
Make a list of meals that you and your family enjoy. Repetition is good in this case. Slight variations or changing up sides can make the meal feel fresh, and using seasonal fruits and veggies can change the whole meal. Taco Tuesday already takes care of one day a week.
Meal Planning Tip: Go meatless at least once a week for both health and cost savings.
2. Plan your activities for the year.
I spend some time in the first weeks of the New Year planning out the full year’s schedule as far as possible. It helps me keep our activities and obligations to a reasonably chaotic level.
Meals on nights when everyone is busy are simple affairs and we adjust our menu accordingly when soccer season starts.
Next we fill in my meal planning template for 4 weeks and then we set it up to repeat.
3. Print it out and put it where everyone in the family will see it.
Print out your menu and post it where everyone can see it. On the fridge or a family command center are great spots to have your meal plan displayed so there’s no question about when pizza night is going to be.
4. Grocery shop with a list.
You can use my printable grocery list or hand write one, but having one is a MUST. Don’t leave home without it.
5. Hang in there.There will inevitably be weeks where you are so busy a PB&J passes as dinner or everyone is sick with the flu and no one wants to eat a thing. Don’t let an off week or a night of takeout throw you off your game. Just head back to the meal plan when you can.