Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oct. Freezer Meals: Step 1, The Plan

This month we're going to be planning and making meals for an entire month, with one big shopping trip.

Planning a menu for an entire month is a big task for me. I tend to approach problems like this with formulas. So, when I decided I wanted to plan meals for an entire month, and have it work for an entire year without getting sick of the meals, here is the motivation behind my formula. I have three categories of meals, Staple, Rotating, and New. The idea is to have some pattern, but to also allow myself the flexibility to try new things, or remove meals that my son or husband decide they don't like anymore. Here is the breakdown:

  • Staple Meals: These meals are well liked by my family, are pretty easy to make, and don't cost a ton of money. I will make these every month, and since it is on a monthly rotation, we shouldn't get sick of them!
  • Rotating Meals: These are meals we like, but have more expensive ingredients or are a little more difficult. I have 16 total rotating meals, A and B. A has 8 meals, and I make those recipes the first month. Next month, I plan to make the 8 B meals. I tried to pair up meals that were pretty similar, but that's mostly because I'm a little OCD with my planning.
  • New Meals: I have 8 meals on the list, including recipes I don't really like making that often, have expensive ingredients, or genuinely new recipes that I want to try.

So, there is the plan. If a month isn't 31 days, I don't make the last few meals, which I've arranged to include the new meals. Want to make your own plan? It is really easy! Here is a document you can print to write the list on, and a tentative calendar.

The only problem I have found with making a plan is that I never follow it completely! Stay tuned to see how I had to adjust the schedule. However, if you have more than a small freezer, the plan should work beautifully. And by the end of the month, I will have all of the kinks worked out.

Also, one thing I wish I would have done was ask for ideas from my family. I had my husband mark off items he hated, and my son just wants to eat peanut butter all day, but I think it would be a great family activity to pick all of the meals together.I'd love to see anyone else's plan for freezer meals! link up!

Look for the next post, step 2, making the shopping list!

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