As the air cools, I’m replacing our short-sleeved Summer Menu Plan for our cozier Fall Menu Plan. This simple plan – with its Crockpot Night and Egg Cups Breakfast – feels snugglier to me. It makes me want to pull on my warm socks and throw a football across the lawn.
I like to use the same weekly menu for a full season. Yep, that means week after week we tend to have the same meals with a bit of variety here and there. There are surprising benefits to keeping things simple – like enjoying a super-simple grocery-store experience, getting a handle on the budget, and being waaaaay less stressed about food.
I reworked last year’s Fall Menu Plan to make sure we were using a good strategy for our 2017 school-year schedule, including the two evenings/ week that we’re out-and-about for ballet lessons, a group violin class, and boys’ club.
I aslo added 2 great updates that are going to rock this food-challenged mama’s world.
I hope this helps you, too.
UPDATE #1: PLAN DAILY SNACKS
The word “snacks” makes my blood pressure rise and forces me into terribly compromising positions.
Last year, I took a slug at it by having a list of “go-to” snacks that I could choose from every 10 minutes when my children were hungry. But I felt like I was always compromising and letting my kids have the sugariest worst possible thing on the list every day all day long. When it comes to “snacks,” I have no backbone.
I finally decided to stare it down. It’s not going to bully me around or catch me off guard any more.
THIS YEAR, I’m winning. I planned the day’s snacks as in, “on Monday morning, we’ll enjoy a delicious bowl of berries!” Now I know what to buy and what not to buy. I know the answer to “What’s for snacks?” and I’m not backing down. 🙂
I’m in charge. I planned ahead. So there, snacks.
UPDATE #2: PLAN THE WEEKEND WISELY
Besides our regular weeknight meals, we’ve always wanted to have a weekly Family Fun Night, a Date Night, and a regular hospitality plan. In the past, we would fly by the seat of our pants and fit things in from week to week. That meant that some weeks, the kids talked us into 3 movie nights in a row. Other weeks/ months/ years, we had no Date Night. Not one. And other times, we’d invite people over, but weren’t as intentional as we wanted to be and I never felt like I got in the groove.
THIS YEAR, I am so excited to have an intentional plan. Here’s what we’ve got:
Family Fun Night on Friday: Pizza and a fun dessert (this is a favorite memory from my own childhood!).
Date Night on Saturday: I’ll do my grocery shopping on Saturday afternoons and add a $5 rotisserie chicken (from Giant) to the order. With a bowl of applesauce and a side of veggies, that’s an easy and delicious meal that the children can eat early in the evening. Then, they’ll enjoy a movie together or play something amazing and completely absorbing like “Making a Tent out of the Dining Room Table”.
Ryan has just recently gotten back into cooking for me, so maybe he’ll take to the grill and make me some salmon with a side of roasted red potatoes from our garden. Or maybe we’ll just enjoy a special dessert over candlelight. Or maybe we’ll stroll, hand in hand, down the lane and back.
Hospitality Sunday: A friend of mine gave me the tip to invite people over on Sunday because they can usually come over for an earlier meal around 4 p.m. Brilliant. We’re doing it. I’ll know it’s coming and will have a few go-to recipes ready when I plan my grocery list.
SPEAKING OF GROCERY LISTS…
Take a look at my updated Fall Menu Plan and Grocery List. I’ve attached them here as editable documents in case you want to stand on my short-but-simple Meal Planning shoulders. Just click on the link to get started:
Looking for more about meal planning?
Check out the “Five Surprising Benefits of Making the Same Meals Every Week“.