First things first, why in the world would anyone want to take the time to make a menu plan? There are close to a gazillion different reasons, and I can’t attest to all of them, but I will explain why we do it.
First, without a menu plan I have a tendency to procrastinate. (As in, I’ll figure out what to make for dinner later. Later comes and goes and suddenly it is six o’clock and I have six hungry mouths screaming for food. Add to that the fact that my youngest goes to bed at seven, and you can see just how precarious of a situation this is!)
Second, careful menu planning saves me money. What’s the use in buying 20 pounds of chicken when it is on sale if half of it gets freezer burnt before you use it up and even the dog won’t touch it? And yes, unfortunately that has happened in this house more than I care to admit!
Third, I am a busy mom. I am a homemaker, homeschooler, and small business owner. It may seem like I have no time for menu planning, but the reality of it is that I don’t have the time or money not to plan! When I don’t plan I get caught up in the moment and end up spending $50 on pizza delivery instead of $10 on healthy and nutritious food for my family. By the time I realize that I have nothing for dinner it is already six o’clock, so by the time the pizza is delivered it is already close to seven. My youngest (who is sure to be VERY cranky by this point in time) falls asleep in her highchair before she has finished eating. This just means that she will wake up even earlier in the morning screaming for breakfast because she is starving. My other kids will stay up later than usual, because not a single one of them can seem to go to sleep until their food has had time to digest. So, the next day starts out with a screaming toddler waking me up an hour earlier than usual, and three other kids that I can’t drag out of bed. They are exhausted and lethargic so it takes them forever to finish their schoolwork. This puts me behind getting my chores done, and before you know it, it’s dinner time again and I haven’t accomplished my tasks for the day let alone started dinner. Okay, so maybe life isn’t always that bad if I have to order pizza, but it’s not far from the truth either. Seriously, menu planning adds hours to my day!
With a menu plan I simply check in the morning what we are having, set any meat out to thaw, throw everything together in the crockpot or set an alarm to go off when I need to start dinner, and then I don’t worry about it again. So simple, so stress free, and so completely worth every minute it takes me to put the plan together!