Meal Planning: Winter 2011
One of our family goals not just for 2011, but in general, is to simplify our meal planning. After viewing the Oh Baby O meal planning poll results, I have a feeling B & I may not be alone. 80% of you that participated meal plan at least some of the time (good for you!) but only 43% plan regularly. Until recently, B & I usually found ourselves among the 80%, but we never had a method that felt truly solid.
Our old meal planning method was to sit down every two weeks and plan fourteen days worth of individual meals and write a grocery list accordingly. It worked, kind of, but we usually found ourselves back at the store several times picking up just a “little something” and eventually totally blowing our grocery budget.
leeks for potato leek soup
During the holidays I picked up a copy of “Simplicity Parenting“. It’s a wonderful read that I feel speaks directly to our parenting style. One way the author suggests to simplify meals is to do just that, simplify… Assign each night of the week a particular meal and go with it. Easy as that!
Previously, I might have thought this boring or even constrictive, but thinking of this method in terms of simplification and rhythm, it couldn’t make more sense! When we free ourselves from the chaos of trying to choose 14 different meals for 14 days (not to mention breakfasts, lunches, and snacks), we are able to focus more intently on exploring and expanding our familiar choices. Also, by knowing every Tuesday, in one form or another, we will have tacos (much to B’s delight), our family is provided with an additional sense of rhythm and security around our meals.
Winter 2011 Meal Plan:
Monday: Soup/Sandwiches or Left-Overs
Saturday: Wild Card
Sunday: Slow Food
As you can see, the categories are fairly vague. This is intentional as we want our choices to be narrowed but not constrictive. We’ve also decided to switch things up with the seasons. This helps us commit to eating seasonally, but it also gives us the opportunity to add variety.
So, tell me, how do you meal plan?