Are you still not menu planning because you think it's just too hard to get started? Well if you've got 10 minutes, you absolutely can get started weekly menu planning today! I've broken it down into a few quick and easy steps for you, and I promise it won't take longer than 10 minutes:
Step 1: Brainstorm a list of everything your family likes to eat for dinner
Gather the kids, sit around the kitchen table, and have them start spouting off all of the things that they like to eat for dinner (feel free to bribe them with cups of hot cocoa to gain their participation!). Type the list of menu items as they speak on your laptop or tablet. Don't worry about typos and organizing things into categories, just get it all down. (Time: 5 minutes)
Step 2: Format and Print Your List
Take the brainstormed list, spell check it, and perhaps cut and paste items to get meals organized by chicken/beef/pasta/fast-and-easy etc. You'll want to be able to get it to fit onto one printed page, so you can change your font size if needed, and you can also break up your list into multiple columns.
How? If you use Microsoft Word all you need to do is go to the top, select Format then Columns and in the dialog box, decide on the size of your columns (I usually reduce the spacing of the columns so they are closer together). It'll immediately break up that list for you. Then print your one page menu list. (Time: 3 minutes)
Step 3: Cover and Use It!
Place your printed menu list into a sleeve protector and using a dry erase marker circle the items that you plan to make for dinner that week. Put a little label next to each circled item to indicate the day of the week you plan to serve that item. The beauty of this system is that next week you just wipe off your marks and circle new items for that week's menu! (Time: 1 minute)
Step 4: Display It
Use a Command Clip to hang your weekly menu plan on the wall somewhere in the kitchen. You want the kids to be able to see it so when they ask you, “Mom, What's for dinner?” you can remind them to look at your menu board! (Time: 1 minute)
If you are going for maximum “pretty”- place your printed menu into an 8 x 10 picture frame. It looks lovely on the kitchen counter you can still use the same method of making notes of with a dry erase marker of what you plan to serve each night of the week.
See? 10 minutes is all it takes for you to get started weekly menu planning! And as long as you save your original brainstormed list, it's super easy for you to add new items when you try out new recipes that your family enjoys, or remove things that you're sick and tired of making! The most important thing is to spend two minutes once a week (ideally before you head to the grocery store) to plan what you're going to make for dinner that week. It definitely makes the “witching hour” between 5 and 6 PM SOOOO much easier!
Are you ready to start weekly menu planning?