Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Menu Slump

I don't look forward to making a weekly menu for meals. I just don't like sitting there, racking my brain for inexpensive yet delightfully delicious meals. I guess I'm just not that creative. I do like Pamela's idea of writing down some meals that your family likes and having that list on hand, but even with that, this task is similar to climbing a mountain for me.

At the beginning of the summer I thought I might have THE answer. I decided that I'd make up a two week, rotating menu for each season. So I wrote down all of my best summer meals. Stuff like grilled hamburgers, chicken cesar salad and cool veggie pizza, anything that would be good for a hot summer day. It worked for a while. But it seemed like I was spending more $ at the grocery store than usual and honestly, I got really sick of making those things.

The last two or three weeks, ever since we got back from our trip in July, I have gone menuless. I was attempting to use up whatever we had to subsidise our extra spending while we were away. It worked well. I did go to the grocery store for milk, fruit and veggies but other than that, I just emptied out the back of the pantry.

So, on Friday, realizing that we couldn't go one more day without a shopping trip, I sat down with my little homemade, computer generated menu form and a sharpened pencil. And stared at it blankly. And sat and stared some more.

Then I called everyone together for a family meeting. I told them all that they had to each come up with some lunches and dinners if they wanted to eat for the next two weeks. It worked great! They were hurtling ideas at me faster than I could write them down. 'Course they aren't really what I would have thought of for this time of year (tater tot casserole?), but at this point I was just glad to have something on paper.

Here are some things that I ended up with:
chicken fajitas
meatloaf (make two and have the second as sandwiches a couple of days later)
taco salad
bean and cheese burritos
grilled chicken and rice
hummus and veggie pita pockets
farmer's breakfast
homemade pizza
taco rice
french toast

I might just do some menu planning this way again!

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