It used to be that I planned our meals with great precision every two weeks. I fell away from that practice as life went out of control for a while. While I still cook each night, it seems lately it’s a mad rush at the last minute to figure out what in the heck we are going to eat. When you have 13 people living at home, well, that can pose a problem. Not only does it create mayhem and frustration as I scurry to figure out what to eat, but we have seen a dramatic rise in our food budget as well and to be honest, we can’t afford that rise.
To take control of this little piece of my life again, I have decided to go back to meal planning. I don’t know why I move away from this sometimes as I know how much smoother my days go when I meal plan. I am looking forward to a little bit of sanity in the evening time (and at breakfast and lunch too!).
At lunch I took out a piece of paper and a pen and asked the kids what they wanted to eat. Normally I cook what they like anyway (however they know what I fix is what they will eat even if they don’t like it), but asking their opinion on what to eat helps them to feel like they have a say in the life of the family and that I really want to create meals that they will enjoy. While I have the ultimate veto power over the meals (and had to veto a couple suggestions that were just too expensive right now), they have fun suggesting meals.
Below you will find our meals for the next two weeks. My husband normally insists on some kind of meat with our meal and whle there are times we skip the meat, only two of these meals are meatless (and will be eaten on Fridays). We use a lot of chicken and in place of ground beef we often have ground pork or turkey or a mixture of the three (I’m not a big lover of ground turkey on its own). We typically make sure we add in a starch and a veggie to pair with the meal.
I will drop these into a menu calendar and post it on the refrigerator knowing that if I need to swap days around I can.
I hope to come back and write up recipes at some point to link up, but for now, I hope my children’s suggestions can bring some inspiration for your menu planning as well!
- BBQ ribs, potato salad, corn on the cob
- Tacos or fajitas, chips and salsa
- Corn chowder, croissants
- Chicken and dumplings, yeast rolls
- Enchiladas, rice and beans
- Hamburger bun pizza, raw veggies
- Chicken spinach alfredo lasagna, salad, garlic bread
- Hamburgers, French fries, cowboy beans
- Salmon patties, broccoli cheese rice, salad
- Fried chicken livers and gizzards, corn pudding, country green bean
- Curried chicken, rice, peas
- Beef stew over mashed potatoes, cornbread
- Breakfast for dinner- pancakes, eggs, bacon/sausage, biscuits and gravy
- Brats, macaroni and cheese, raw veggies
- Bacon-wrapped BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted zucchini and squash