Menu planning

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January 4, 2015

Last day of lazy no-real-schedule vacation. Why does this feel so different than a regular weekend? Dunno, but I know for sure it does. We all stayed up too late last night and are dragging a little today, which is kind of normal for the days since New Year’s. Tomorrow morning will be exciting and amazing and YAY we are back to a routine. (Can you tell I’m trying to convince me? You’re right.)

Today is Sunday. I generally meal plan on Sundays, though the shopping does not happen until Monday, when the stores are less busy and my kitchen not filled with gangly bodies working on art projects or refurbishing old typewriters. Lucky me, I know, to have that luxury.

How do I meal plan? I look at the weather (really.) I check out the schedule, for me and Jeremy and the kids. I ask them all what they’d like to eat this week. (Julian’s response is predictable – “Chocolate mousse,” he says. “Yes, for dinner.” Nice try, son.) I think about what grocery store I need to go to this week – if I need things like garbage bags and laundry detergent, I’m not hitting Whole Foods. Then I try to balance. Soup vs “dinner”. Mexican flavors vs Asian flavors vs American vs not sure what else to toss in there. Meat-based vs vegetable-based. Starches. Dessert, maybe? And I come up with something that approximates a decent menu plan for the week, make my list for groceries, and set to work!

This week the weather is predictably weird for Central Virginia in January. Yesterday was 30 degrees and rainy/icy. Today is 60 and rainy/sunny. Rest of the week sunny, though temps dropping from 40 tomorrow to low 20s by Thursday and back up. Scratch the idea of grilling. We ate crazy amounts of heavy food so I wanted salad and lighter things, but had to balance with the winter-time need for more comfort-food stuff. I work Tuesdays and Wednesdays so want crockpot meals on those days. No nighttime stuff this week for any of us, other than usual after-school activities that are done by 7. It’s not a date night week, and we’re saving the month’s eating out budget for our New York blowout in 2 weeks.

menu plan This week’s plan.

Do you menu plan? What tricks do you use?

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