I’ve done meal planning on and off over the years, sometimes more successfully, sometimes less. I’ve certainly noticed that the times I keep up with it are less stressful because I have one less thing to think about. The meal preparation still needs to be done, but the decision-making does not. And that makes a big difference in my day.
In the past I’ve used a spreadsheet to keep my meal plan, but there were a couple of big flaws in that system for me. First, I had to sit at the computer to use it. And that meant distraction became a huge temptation. Sometimes before I knew it, I had frittered away my meal planning time doing any number of other things. The other problem was visibility. My meal plan was never readily accessible in the kitchen, which is one place where I really needed to see it.
When my sister-in-law gave us this menu board as part of our Christmas gift, I knew it would be a perfect way to get back in the habit of planning. It takes care of the two big flaws I mentioned above – I don’t have to use the computer and it lives in the kitchen where I see it regularly. In addition, it’s portable, so I can sit at the table with the grocery ads and get my shopping list done simultaneously. And it’s flexible, so meals can easily be switched around or substituted as needed. That aspect came in handy when I was hit with the double whammy of nasty cold plus mastitis. Having a couple of easy second-string meals lined up meant I could languish on the sofa in peace. Haha, just kidding. I have five kids. But at least I didn’t have to worry about dinner.
What a thoughtful gift, right? I’ve been using it for two weeks now and it’s been a huge success!
Do you meal plan? What system works for you?